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THEA History I & II

This online guide contains customized materials selected by your librarian in partnership with your professor in order to highlight helpful resources you can use to complete your research assignment.

Primary & Secondary Sources

What is a Primary Resource?

Short Answer: It depends on the project

Textbook Answer:

Primary sources are contrasted with secondary sources, works that provide analysis, commentary, or criticism on the primary source. A primary source is "first-hand" information, sources as close as possible to the origin of the information or idea under study.

Secondary Source:

  • A book about the playwright, play, themes, time period, or art.    
  • Encyclopedia entries of the artform
  • Analysis of plays, play themes, or the art movement.

Primary Source: 

  • Autobiography of playwrights
  • The play
  • Photos
  • Reviews
  • News  

Secondary Sources provide detailed summaries of topics- try to search GVR entry or Wikipedia page for a topic, and written down names of important people/places/incidents, and searched for [those] + primary sources in Google. 

Databases with Primary Sources

Find the Archives Collecting Artifacts on your Topic

What is an archive?



Plural noun: archives

collection of historical documents or records providing information about a place, institution, or group of people.

Which archive has the records you need?

Sometimes a whole archive will be devoted to one issue but many times an archive will own many collections. So how do you find archive materials when you don't know where to search?

  • Google 
  • National Archives 
  • OAC is a database that keeps track of which archives have what collections in California  
  • University Archive (consider alma mater of movement leaders)  

TIP: You most likely won’t have the time or the ability to visit various archives in person so filter your search results to "digitized records" only. 


Finding Photographs