Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Today's hours:

See all library hours »

  • Ask a Librarian
  • FAQ
We are excited to share our new Library catalog and search tool! We hope that you will find it easy to search and explore our collections. If you need help, have questions, or want to share feedback, visit the Ask a Librarian page.

HIST 259: The History of the Family in Early Modern Europe (1500-1800)

Searching for Primary Sources in the Library Catalog

1. Try Author and Subject searches for prominent people, organizations (e.g. specific monastic orders), movements (e.g. Reformation)

2. Remember to try different regional terms, broader and more specific (e.g. Europe, France, Paris), also different era terms (19th century, 600-1500)

3. The terms below appear in the Library of Congress Subject Headings to indicate that the item is a primary source or a collection of sources:

sources, letters, interviews, speeches, personal narratives, diaries, correspondence, sermons, notebooks, sketches, description and travel, treaties, pamphlets, biography (includes memoirs), newspapers, periodicals, pictorial works, art, architecture, portraits, caricatures and cartoons, cookery, decorative arts, furniture, material culture, guide books, maps, fiction, poetry, periodicals, newspapers, early works to 1800

Although publication date is often an indicator, sometimes an item will be reprinted and a 20th century publication date will be given, so examining the record closely for clues about its real date is important.  The terms above will help. 

4. You can use the terms above in conjunction with other terms as a keyword search, i.e.:

conduct women early works

This search will retrieve published primary source material, from all regions of the world, that contain the subject phrase "early works to 1800" as well as the words "women" and "conduct."  Much of it will be useful for History 259, although you will want to read the cataloging record closely to make sure. 

5. Sometimes a search with one of these terms will retrieve primary and secondary sources.  Remember to use the bibliographies in the secondary material you find to locate additional primary sources. 

6. Here's an excellent series of modern editions of primary sources related to various themes in this course:

Beyond Vassar