What is a resource?
A resource is a material which meets a need. In the case of research, resources are information or tools which help a researcher to conduct their research.
There are many different types of resources for research in Celtic Languages and Literatures, in a wide variety of forms and media.
A primary source is information created as a utilitarian or creative part of life and is a first-hand account of life. Primary sources include literary texts, archive records, manuscripts, newspapers, autobiographies, audiovisual recordings, photographs, performances, and artworks, as well as research articles, raw data, reports, and studies.
A secondary source is information written about primary materials. They describe, analyze, interpret, and discuss raw data or information. Commentaries, analyses, criticisms, and reference materials are all secondary sources.
In a sense, primary sources are the information created in the course of living, and secondary sources are the analysis and interpretation of that information. The distinction is important in understanding the perspective of a piece of information; whether it is direct or indirect.
A reference material is an information source which provides basic or background information on something and, often, provides information about how to find further information sources. Types of reference materials are almanacs, atlases, bibliographies, biographies, chronologies, dictionaries, directories, encyclopedias, handbooks, and indexes.
Can a source be trusted?
Resources have different types of authority and can be reliable for different types of information.
Primary materials have the authority of being direct and original sources of information.
A scholarly publication is information written by someone who is considered knowledgeable in a certain field or on a specific subject or question, and who is considered to both possess integrity and to be a reliable source of information. Scholarly publications are usually written for experts in a field and are monitored and critiqued by other experts in the field, and have the authority of recognized expertise.
There are many sources of information which are written for the general public. These may draw upon research and expert knowledge, but information is presented in a condensed and simplified way so as to be more widely understandable. These materials can be reliable sources of information. Moreover, they can reliable sources of information about specific voices and opinions.
Any piece of information can be used in research as long as it is understood and analyzed in the context of its creation and purpose.
Sources of Celtic Materials
In addition to Celtic materials at Harvard Library and the Harvard Art Museums, the collections of the major libraries, museums, and archives of England, Ireland, Wales, and Scotland are excellent resources for materials related to Celtic Studies. These collections have many different types of materials, including books, journals, reference materials, archives, maps, photographs, art, film, documentaries, sound recordings, manuscripts, and artifacts. In addition, the websites of Celtic Studies departments and Celtic associations often have information on what resources exist or where to look for them.