Skip to Main Content

English: Primary Sources

Resources for English

What is a primary source?

Within the context of literature, a primary source is either an original literary work (i.e. Jane Austen's Mansfield Park) or personal information produced by the author (letters, diaries, manuscripts etc).   If you're doing historical research, primary sources are those first-hand, eyewitness accounts that provide an insight into a particular period of history (i.e. The Diary of Anne Frank).  Examples include oral histories, contemporary newspaper articles, film footage and government documents.


National Theatre Collection


18th to 20th Century

African Diaspora

Black Drama: Third Edition

Greek & Latin Texts

Middle Ages & Renaissance


Subculture Archives

Women and Social Movements

Literary Sources

Gale Literary Sources provides access to 8 different literature databases including more than 1,5 million critiques, poems, plays, dramas, biographies, articles and quotations. With a series of databases, it supports scholars researching the Western Literature. It includes:

Archives from Adam Matthew