Firsthand or autobiographical sources provide a glimpse into the personality and point of view of the biographical figure. Obviously, these accounts are subject to the biases and philosophies held by the individual, as well as his or her self-image. Following are some resources that will help you in locating these important primary snapshots. Look for the following types of resources in examining how individuals viewed themselves.
Portraits generally show an individual "at their best." Subjects dress and pose in a manner that conveys who they believe they are.
Well known quotes by an individual can offer insight in to how an individual approached given concepts. Check out quote collections on and off line.
Biographies written by the individual themselves or in partnership with a ghost writer (located by the call number 921/subject's last name) offer insight into how the individual wished to be perceived.
Digitized collections of the personal papers/correspondence of an individual are often maintained by libraries and museums that have been connected to that person by location or profession. The directory of primary source repositories around the world will help you locate these smaller primary source respositories, some of which are digitized and available free to the public. You can also find state depositories through the Council of State Archivists. Locate smaller or more specilized collections by using a search engine to locate "archives" along with related keywords. Many reference and non-fiction resource in the library also contain primary source documents. Search the catalog.
The MGHS Library has a large number of print and ebook titles that include or feature primary source documents.
Is a quote a primary source? Technically, yes. However, consider this:
Go ahead and look up quotes. But be sure, you know the source!
The Quotations Page
Allows you to search several quote sources at once. Be sure to search by both common names and aliases.
Quotes at Dictionary.com
Comprehensive quote search engine. Search by name.
Library Information and Media Center - Monona Grove High School - Monona, Wisconsin
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