What are primary sources?
Primary sources are original sources, in which witnesses or first recorders describe a time, person or event. They are the subjective interpretation of a witness to an event and serve as the materials historians use to analyze the past. Primary sources can either be the original document or published at a later date in electronic, microfilm and printed collections.
Use our Primary Sources guide to learn more.
W.D. Jordan Rare Books and Special Collections, located in the Douglas Library, holds a wealth of primary source material in the form of incunabula and early printed books. The literary canon, and the history of writing, printing, and publishing on the whole, have historically been predominantly male – from which books were (re)printed, to which authors have been studied, and to which rare and antiquarian books have historically commanded the highest prices. Not only has the history of the book been shaped by men and masculinity, it has also heavily influenced cultural and historical perceptions of masculinity.