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EDLA 7150: Children's and Adolescent Literature (McGrail/Spring 2020): Home

Primary Sources For Assigned Texts

These are some historical primary sources that relate to your assigned texts. Many of these sources are freely available, either online or available to you through GSU's Special Collections & Archives (open to the public -- you do not need to be enrolled at GSU to visit!).

See the table below this list for more information about how to find these and similar sources.

You can also use the tabs on this guide to learn more strategies for finding historical primary sources, through GSU's subscription databases, freely available digital collections, other library resources, GSU's Special Collections & Archives, and other Special Collections libraries/archives.

Emma E. Haldy, Marian Anderson

Ruta Sepetys, Salt to the Sea

Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, The War That Saved My Life

How Do I Get These Materials, or Others Like Them?

Freely Available Online Sources

These resources are freely available online.


GSU Special Collections /
Digital Collections

You do NOT need to be a GSU student to come to GSU's Special Collections & Archives)

General Library Collections

After graduation, you can browse physical materials* in the GSU Library but not check out. You can always work with your public library to place Interlibrary Loan requests of books and possibly other materials -- check with your public library)

  • Life Magazine (click on "and other locations" to get shelf information for the giant bound volumes, good for finding period advertisements as well as photo essays)
  • Books and other print publications can also contain images or reprints of primary sources
  • A book, publication, film, or sound recording held in the library can also be a historical primary source; Mrs. Miniver is a British feature film about families in the home front, made in 1942.

*when the library reopens!


Search Other Library Catalogs

Access to books and other materials available from libraries:

Start with our catalog at GILFind.

If GSU's library doesn't have what you need, you have, don't give up.  There are several options to get the book you want:

Universal Catalog - includes all Georgia public colleges and universities. The Universal Catalog is now included in GIL -- just select "University System of Georgia" in the dropdown next to the search box!) To see information about participating USG schools, click here. Request books through GIL Express (see above), or use your Panther Card to check out books at USG schools.

Emory - you can also borrow materials at Emory with your Panther Card

ARCHE - with a special ARCHE borrower's card, you can check out books from several local private colleges. Click here for information about ARCHE schools and getting a borrower's card

Atlanta-Fulton County Public Library Catalog - GSU students & faculty may obtain library cards from the Atlanta-Fulton County Public Library, then borrow materials.

Use Interlibrary Loan to request books you find in the following catalogs
(or any other library catalog):

Language Use

When we work with primary sources, we may encounter language and concepts that are uncomfortable and/or considered now to be offensive.

History can be very ugly. 

It is important that we understand that these words and concepts are part of history.

It is also important that we understand the potential of these words and concepts to be upsetting or offensive today. 

Please be mindful of how you use this language, and be respectful when using it.

What Is a Historical Primary Source?

Primary sources are the raw materials that historians consult when they are doing research. They are the documents or artifacts closest to the topic of investigation.

Often they are created during the time period which is being studied (correspondence, diaries, newspapers, government documents, art) but they can also be produced later by eyewitnesses or participants (memoirs, oral histories).

Almost anything can be a historical primary source! You may find primary sources in their original format (usually in an archive) or reproduced in a variety of ways: books, microfilm, digital, etc.

Because they are created or used during a particular historical moment (or intended to recall a particular time, as in an oral history or a memoir), primary sources can also powerfully evoke a particular era, event, person, or place.

How Do I Find Primary Sources?

Finding historical primary sources can be like looking for a needle in a haystack -- or like looking for a needle in a stack of needles. Historical primary sources can be freely available online, but there are other resources available to you as GSU students for finding relevant and thought-provoking historical materials: 

Secondary sources: scholarly books and articles on or related to your topic. For academic honesty purposes, every history scholar who publishes a scholarly article or book has to cite the secondary and primary sources they used. This means that you can look at their citations to find primary sources related to your topic. Look for footnotes, endnotes, and/or a bibliography or works cited list. For more help with this strategy, see the Mining Footnotes guide. (For help on finding history books and articles likely to point you to helpful footnotes, see the general History research guide!) 

Library catalog (GILFind): you can use the library catalog to find print (autobiographies or other books written at a particular historical moment), audiovisual, and even some Special Collections materials.

Subscription databases: We have selected primary-source databases available to you through the GSU Library. These are generally only available to GSU students/faculty/staff, and you will not have access to these once you graduate (sadly). These can be accessed from anywhere using your Campus ID and password. Most of our historical primary-source databases are listed here. For a full list of all of the subscription databases held at the GSU Library, click here.

Archival collections: The GSU Library's Special Collections & Archives has a range of primary source materials that you can arrange to come look at. For information about our Special Collections' areas of specialization, click here. Some (but by no means all) of their materials are available at Digital Collections. Some (but again not all) of Special Collections' finding aids (detailed descriptions of particular collections) are available online. For more information about other Special Collections/archives in the Atlanta area, see our Archival Research guide