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HI 2341: “Furies from Hell” to “Femi-Nazis”: A History of Modern Anti-Feminism: Primary Sources

Primary Sources for History

Primary sources are materials that provide firsthand testimony to a subject under investigation. Researchers often use these firsthand accounts of specific events to understand events from the viewpoint of people living during that time period. Primary sources include documents and artifacts from the time period under study, such as letters, diaries, photographs, newspaper articles, pamphlets, government records, songs, poems, and videos. Primary sources also include writings and recordings by witnesses who experienced the events or conditions being documented. For example, oral histories, autobiographies, and memoirs are primary sources.


Song: "Put Me on an Island (Where the Girls are Few)"

Written by Will Setters in 1908; Performed by Wilkie Bard (


Put me upon an island where the girls are few
Put me amongst the most ferocious lions in the Zoo
You can put me upon a treadmill and I'll never fret
But for pity's sake don't put me near a Suffragette

Library Databases with Primary Sources

Examples of Websites with Primary Sources

To find primary sources via Google, try adding keywords like journals, papers, letters, documents, primary sources, or documentary history to your search terms. Primary sources can often be found on library, museum, and government websites. 

Primary Sources: Books at WPI

Sometimes collections of primary source documents are republished in books. To find books like these, search WPI Library Search for books about your topic and add keywords like journals, papers, letters, documents, primary sources, documentary history, or sourcebook to your search terms. 

Here are some examples of books containing reprinted primary sources: