Find Primary or Archival Material
Contemporaneous Newspapers, Magazines, Images, etc.
- Add journals OR newspapers OR magazines OR periodicals to your Databases search for a specific region or time period
- Learn more from a guide to periodicals, such as the excellent American Literary Magazines
- Consult the History liaisons' guides to Periodicals and Newspapers
- Browse the stacks---you'll find general periodicals from the 19th and 20th centuries on Lamont Level A and/or Widener Level D-West
- Consult with the experts at Harvard's Fine Arts, Music, and Performing Arts collections
Media - Audio and Video ("time-based media")
- Add AND (streaming OR video OR audio) to your databases.hollis.harvard.edu search
- Filter your HOLLIS results by Resource Type (film/video, sound recording, etc.)
- For poetry in particular, PennSound and Harvard's Woodberry Poetry Room are major sources
- Search (with caution!) YouTube for videos/audio or Listen Notes for podcasts
Find What's Unique to Harvard
Houghton Library: A Student's Guide gives you a sense of how to explore a special collection at Harvard.
- Search HOLLIS (limit to Library Catalog) or HOLLIS for Archival Discovery
- Explore Collections and Library home pages on library.harvard.edu to get a sense of our collecting areas
- Talk to a librarian or curator about your project (ask Odile for recommendations!)
Unique Sources (wherever they may be)
The Research Travel Checklist gives you a sense of how to prepare for a research trip.
FACSIMILES AT HARVARD (digital, microform, print)
We have many large collections of primary sources whose originals are located elsewhere. Swap out "literary" for your preferred search terms
Add archiv* OR manuscript* OR digitized OR primary to your Databases search
Add form/genre=microform to your HOLLIS search
Add sources OR archival OR facsimile to your HOLLIS search
FACSIMILES ELSEWHERE (digital, microform, print)
See Have the materials been microfilmed, digitized, or published? on the Research Travel Checklist
A SPECIFIC PERSON'S PAPERS AND BOOKS
Critical biographies often include information about where the bulk of a person's letters and manuscripts are held, while book-length biographies will list major sources in their acknowledgments and notes. Acknowledgments can be especially helpful if the papers are still privately held!
Add author="former owner" in HOLLIS to find Houghton books that originally came from a specific person's library
Also try SNAC (Social Networks and Archival Context), a person-based search across collections info aggregated from many sources; helpful if your person is represented in only a few archives or is somewhat obscure
See my colleagues' Guide for Finding Manuscripts and Archival Collections for more details and additional methods