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ZSR Library

EAL 296: Japanese Across the Curriculum: ZSR Special Collections & Archives

A resource for library materials for this course taught by Huang-wen Lai

ZSR Special Collections & Archives

ZSR's Special Collection & Archives holds thousands of source materials in all formats, concentrated in specific subject areas. British history and literature is a major focus of our published materials collections, so you may find sources relevant to your project here. Search strategies for Special Collections are listed below, but we encourage you to contact us with questions or to set up a PRS with one of our librarians.

To request materials, use the contact form or stop by the Special Collections & Archives reference desk, located in our Research Room (625) in the Reynolds wing of ZSR. Our regular hours are 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. More information about using Special Collections & Archives is available on our website.

1. Search SCA materials (including books) in the library catalog. 

2. Search SCA finding aids to locate unpublished materials in manuscript and archival collections. (Contact Special Collections & Archives for help using finding aids!)

Questions to Ask about a Primary Source

In order to use a primary source effectively, you have to know some things about it! These are a few questions to ask about any primary source you are considering using for your research. 

  • What is it? 
  • Who is the author/creator? What can you find out about them? 
  • When was it created? (Is it actually primary?)
  • Why was it created? 
  • If you have access to the actual item, are there any notable physical features? (ex. size, paper quality, photographs, illustrations, binding, inscriptions, marginalia/notations) 
  • If it is digitized, who digitized it?  
  • If it's a published work, when was it published? Where? And by whom? 
  • What is the larger context of the source? What else was going on in the region/world at the time it was created? (This is where secondary sources can be really helpful!)
  • Does this source mention other potential sources or keywords that you can use to further your research? 
  • What questions do you have after studying the source? What else do you need/want to know? 


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Craig Fansler
Preservation, ZSR Room 329
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