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ENGL 377: The Book and the Marketplace

Selecting Your Primary Source Material

Selecting your primary source text(s) is one of the most important decisions you will make as you undertake a research project. Try to give yourself sufficient time to explore multiple options. You will want to choose primary sources that invite numerous questions related to the theme of the course and that are rich and complex enough to allow for extended analysis and interpretation. 

For this project, you have several options for locating primary source materials to integrate into your essay. The boxes below feature materials from our archives session as well additional primary sources and strategies for exploring different aspects of literary culture.

University Historical Sources

Start with these sources to explore literary institutions in and around campus. All of our university publications are fully text-searchable, so once you open a document try using the "Find" function (Ctrl + F or Command + F) and type in a search term or keyword.


Many other examples of student publications, including alternative newspapers (The Third Eye, UP$ Rut, The Advocate) and zines, are available in paper format in A&SC. Visit during our open hours or contact us at to schedule an appointment if you'd like to work with one of these publications.

Archival Collections

The collections below represent unique literary cultures you may wish to explore in your essay. 

These materials are non-circulating and may be viewed in the A&SC reading room during open hours (listed on the right) or by appointment.

Identifying More Primary Sources

Literary Journals & Magazines

Collins Library provides access to many publications that frequently feature fiction, poetry, and other forms of creative writing. A few examples, including titles from our archives session, are listed below. You can use the Poets & Writers database of literary magazines to identify additional titles and then check Primo for holdings information. Some links will offer many back issues while some only offer selected content online. Some journals are also available in print in the Print Journals sections on the lower level of Collins Library.


Databases Containing Literary Magazines, Fiction, and Poetry


Trade Resources

Use these sources to find out what's new in the literary community and identify potential literary institutions to analyze, including publishers, literary journals, contests, prizes, and more.