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PG 345: Intersectionality as Theory and Method

Selecting Your Primary Source Material

Selecting your primary sources is one of the most important decisions you will make as you undertake this research project. You will want to spend significant time exploring which documents are available that are related to your topic. 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 will be making use of the Archives of Sexuality & Gender, a digitized collection of archival materials. Archival documents are unique print materials that may or may not have been originally intended for a wider audience or that are more ephemeral in nature. 

Archives of Sexuality & Gender

Search Tips

There are several ways to use the Archives of Sexuality & Gender to locate your primary sources. Don't forget to prepare a list of related terms, names, organizations and/or concepts before you begin searching! This will save you time and give you a sense of direction as you search.

Browsing and Searching in Collections

Browsing collections can be a good way to generate ideas if you are still unsure of your topic. This archive contains full collections of materials relevant to this course, such as ACT UP: The AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, the ACT UP Los Angeles Records, The Bush Administration and the AIDS Crisis, Gay and Lesbian Politics and Social Activism: Selected Newsletters and Periodicals from the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Historical Society (mostly documenting gay and lesbian history in San Francisco's Bay Area), Records of the National Commission on Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, 1983-1994, and much more.

After you've selected a collection, use the small search box on the results page to search documents within that collection.


Searching the Archive

Number 1 Search Tip: Use Advanced Search and limit features whenever possible. Subset limits, date limits, subject searches, etc. -- are all useful time savers. Search tips for other databases also apply in the Archives of Sexuality & Gender.

  • Start with a general search.
  • Avoid long phrases.
  • Use AND to find all the words (distinct concepts) on your topic.
  • Use OR to find any of the words (synonyms or related concepts) on your topic.
  • The symbol * is used as a right hand truncation character in most databases; it will find all forms of a word.
  • Use quotation marks '' '' to search for an entire phrase
  • Be flexible in your searching.


Saving Documents

The Archives of Sexuality & Gender allows you to save documents, citations, and highlights to Google Drive. Use the link at the top right of the screen to sign in to your Google account. When you find a document you want to save, click the "Send to" icon icon and select Google Drive.

You can save a PDF version of the entire document, a single page, or a selected page range. 

Print Collections

Scholarly editions of primary sources or "documentary histories" include a selection of primary sources accompanied by scholarly annotations.

Primary Sources Online

This is only a sampling of the collections out there, just to get you started! 

News Databases