Skip to main contentLogo
Five College Archives and Manuscript Collections
Home > Help > Primary Source Research Guide > Getting Started

-Help Overview
- Searching this Site
- Searching the Five College Catalog

Primary Source Research Guide
- Introduction
> Getting Started
Definitions
- Primary and Secondary Sources
- Primary Source Samples
- About Archives
- Finding Aids
- Anatomy of a Finding Aid
Finding Primary Sources
- Resources
- Digital Collections
- Collections on Microfilm
Visiting Repositories
- Preparing for Your Visit
- What To Expect
- Links and Contact Information
Use and Reproduction
- Copyright
- Citing Sources

Getting Started

Some things to remember when doing primary source research:

  • Start with secondary source readings and focus your topic.
  • Make sure there are primary sources available on your topic.
  • Primary source research is more time consuming than doing standard research using published (secondary) sources. You need to plan well and allow plenty of time.
  • Don't expect to find everything online! Plan to visit a repository to browse finding aids and talk to the archivist (see Visiting Repositories for more details on planning your visit).

  •  
    Scrapbook

    Scrapbook of clippings relating to a performance of La Tosca, starring Sarah Bernhardt, undated. From the Margaret Blaisdell Byrd New York City Music, Opera and Theater Scrapbooks. Amherst College Archives and Special Collections.

    left arrow Back       Next right arrow


Home | Help | About | Search | Feedback

Project funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Last update: May 24, 2004