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Lehigh University Libraries - Library Guides

ENGL/HMS 315: How Literature Made Medicine Modern

Fall 2018: L. Servitje

Getting started

There will be resources in the Lehigh Libraries' collections that may be useful as you get started in primary source research, so I encourage you to check ASA, the Libraries' catalog.  Using medic* in a subject search will retrieve resources with subjects like medicmedical and medicine. You may want to combine terms using the Boolean operator AND, for example, medicine AND history as a subject search. In addition, I suggest that you add the following search terms to your search to get to primary source material:

  • manuscripts
  • microfilm

Those terms are also good to add to an Internet search. When searching Google for Internet resources, consider using the following tips:

  • Add words to your search like archive and exhibition. These will help to identify digital archives and exhibits that may have useful records.
  • Limit your search to government (gov) or educational (edu) websites by adding either site:gov or site:edu to your search.
  • Remember that Google has search engines for specific countries. Consider using the Google search engine for other countries. Wikipedia has a fine list of Google domains and Internet & country domains.

The books listed below are examples of what you can find in ASA and offers interesting insight . 

There are also journals that will be of use:

Lehigh subscription databases: These databases may be useful to you in your research.

Internet Resources: These websites may be useful in your research. They are not Lehigh Libraries' resources, so the support we can offer if you run into problems will be limited, but please consult a librarian if you run into difficulties.

Source Types

When evaluating information, it is useful to identify if it's a Primary, Secondary, or Tertiary source. By doing so, you will be able recognize if the author is reporting on his/her own first hand experiences, or relying on the views of others.

Source Type Examples
A first person account by someone who experienced or witnessed an event. The original document has not been previously published or interpreted by anyone else.
  • First person account of an event
  • First publication of a scientific study
  • Speech or lecture
  • Original artwork
  • Handwritten manuscript
  • Letters between two people
  • A diary
  • Historical documents, e.g. Bill of Rights

One step removed from the primary original source. The author is reexamining, interpreting and forming conclusions based on the information conveyed in the primary source.

  • Newspaper reporting on a scientific study
  • Review of a music CD or art show
  • Biography

Further removed from a primary source. It leads the researcher to a secondary source, rather than to the primary source.

  • Bibliography
  • Index to articles
  • Library catalog