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English 142R Demonizing Others: Identity and Alterity in Later Medieval Literature

English Reading Room Librarian

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Lynda Tolly
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Primary Sources

A primary source is "first-hand" information, sources as close as possible to the origin of the information or idea under study. Primary sources are contrasted with secondary sources, works that provide analysis, commentary, or criticism on the primary source. In literary studies, primary sources are often creative works, including poems, stories, novels, and so on. In historical studies, primary sources include written works, recordings, or other source of information from people who were participants or direct witnesses to the events in question. Examples of commonly used primary sources include government documents, memoirs, personal correspondence, oral histories, and contemporary newspaper accounts.

UCLA Special Collections

Below are links to primary locations for print special collections of relevance to the study of literature at UCLA. Select online finding aids are also available via the Online Archive of California.

Selected Primary Source Resources

General Catalogs and Finding Aids


Images are becoming easier to find these days, thanks to the Internet. However, you do need to think about copyright if you are going to use images in publications, on web sites, and so on. 

The easiest source for images is to do a Google search and click on Images link near the top of the page. Be careful about trusting the descriptions of these images--they may not be historically accurate. Here are some other, more reliable sources: