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History 195: Reinventing Paris, 1600 to the Present

Primary Sources

A lot of primary sources are published in book form - for example, diaries, letters, sourcebooks. These are often a good bet if you want something that is translated. To find these, you have to use the Library Catalog and do some pretty specific searches. If you have any questions about this, or can't find something, please contact me. 

Books have specific and standardized tags, some of which indicate they are primary sources. You have to use these in a SUBJECT search. Some common ones are:

  • Sources
  • Description and travel
  • Personal narratives
  • Correspondence
  • Early works
  • Correspondence

This is how you use them to search the Library Catalog (note that place names are also standardized tags as well):

screenshot of library catalog search, showing a subject search for sources and a subject search for paris

Another good way to find primary sources is to use the bibliographies of secondary sources to identify the title of potential primary sources and then track those down. This is the best way to find literature, poetry, film, and sometimes art.

Finding Secondary Sources

Use the Library Catalog to find books. Be sure to pay attention to the date and publisher of the book - the Catalog does include older materials and primary sources. 

Use these databases to find articles from scholarly journals. Scholarly journals also have features like book reviews, so make sure it's a research article.

If you only see the citation in the database, click on the M-Get It link to check our other databases. The link may take you to Interlibrary Loan, which is a free service to request articles from other libraries. Please do not pay for an article! The Library will get it for you, usually in a couple of days.

Academic journals on French history. You can search them directly through these links.

French Historical Studies

French History