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Finding Digitized Primary Sources

A Guide for Digital Research in History and Literature

Using HOLLIS Filters

In HOLLIS Advanced Search, choose the Resource Type Archives/Manuscripts (or Maps, Scores, Images, etc.) You can also leave the Resource Type as "Any" and narrow your search results after they've loaded.

In order to see only online search results, after you've done your search, select "Show Only > Online" on the right side of the screen.

The limiter for online materials (like other filters) can be locked for the duration of your HOLLIS search session. When you apply the filter, it will look like this:    When locked, the icon changes to solid blue: 

Finding Primary Sources by Subject in HOLLIS

One way to find primary sources on a subject is to browse the subject headings in HOLLIS. Subject headings from the Library of Congress are used consistently in HOLLIS's 'Library Catalog' to describe what books are about. When you find a good subject heading (see the first arrow below), click on Starts With/Browse at the top of the HOLLIS screen. Then change 'Browse by Author' to 'Browse by Subject.,' and type your subject heading.

► To find subject headings for browsing, bring up the HOLLIS record for a book you already know about; or do a keyword search for your topic, such as College baseball or Cuban slave narratives or Transgender Australians. These will bring up subject headings like College sports or Slavery -- Cuba or Transgender people -- Australia.

► When you browse, look for subjects with subheadings like these:

Diaries Personal narratives
Interviews Biography
Sources Pictorial works
Archival resources Comic books
Newspapers Caricatures and cartoons

► Look for subject headings with these subheadings: Fiction • In Literature • Juvenile fiction • Drama • Poetry • Literary collections

► Use the Advanced Search in HOLLIS to combine a subject heading with other keywords. Then filter your results to "Show only Online." Examples:

  • Subject Slave narratives + Keyword Cuba
  • Subject Aboriginal Australians + Keyword transgender
  • Subject College sports + Keyword race