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Victorian Literature: Primary Sources

What is a Primary Source?

A primary source is the uninterpreted original document that contains the words of the witnesses or the first recorders of an event or creative work.  Some examples of primary sources:

  • Artifacts (clothing, furniture, tools, buildings)
  • Experiments & lab report
  • First–person accounts (including newspaper accounts)
  • Government publications (statistics, court reports)
  • Historical documents
  • Internet resources (especially digitized versions of historical documents)
  • Manuscripts, journals, diaries
  • Observations
  • Official papers
  • Recordings

Materials in UK Libraries' Special Collections Research Center

The Special Collections Research Center at UK Libraries contains a number of primary research materials that may be useful in your research, including journals such as the Westminster Review and Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine.  Of special interest is the W. Hugh Peal Manuscripts Collection, which contains personal writings (e.g., diaries, letters) of the writers of the Romantic Period and other European writers.

Many materials are listed in InfoKat Discovery, but since not all materials will be found there, also consult the following research guides or contact the Special Collections Research Center for more information.

Primary Sources

These databases contain primary source materials of particular interest to the study of Great Britain in the Victorian period.

Selected Primary Source Periodical Indexes

These newspaper and periodical databases also contain primary source materials: