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Primary Sources: Finding Primary Sources in Literature

This guide will discuss the difference between primary and secondary resources for use in research.

Primary Source Material in Literature

Primary sources of a literary work can include the following:

  • Autograph/Holograph ( the author's original manuscript)
  • Copies (handwritten by another person: student, professional copyist, monastic scribes)
  • First edition
  • Early editions ( could be edited by someone close the the author)
  • Scholarly editions ( edits made by scholar known for knowledge of author)
  • Collected editions ( complete works of author published in scholarly edition - could show variations found in the above sources)

Primary Resources for Literature in the Jerry Falwell Library

Online Primary Sources for Literature