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Dance History, Theory, and Criticism: Primary Sources

What are primary sources?

"Primary sources are materials produced by people or groups directly involved in the event or topic under consideration, either as participants or as witnesses....Some primary sources are written documents, such as letters, diaries, newspaper and magazine articles, speeches, autobiographies, treatises, census data, and marriage , birth, and death registers...(Some primary resources) are not written, like works of art, films, recordings, and interviews."

From Mary Lynn Rampolla, A Pocket Guide to Writing in History (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2007), 6-7.

Finding Primary Sources in the Library Catalog

The best way to find primary sources in the library catalog is by using Library of Congress Subject Headings, which often include the following words:

  • sources
  • diaries
  • correspondence
  • interviews
  • personal narratives
  • speeches
  • papers of..

However these subject headings are not intuitive, therefore it is best that you do a Keyword search for your topic and one of the words above. Examples:

  • dancers United States interviews

Once you find a title of interest, open the record and link to similar sources by clicking on the appropriate subject heading.

Historical Periodicals & Newspapers (ASU Only)

Digital Primary Source Collections

Access is restricted to ASU students, faculty, and staff.

Subject Guide

Alex McAllister's picture
Alex McAllister
Contact:
Belk Library
828.262.8472