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Hamersly Library

HST 440: Gender & Colonialism: Primary Sources

Research Guide for discovering primary and secondary sources related to gender and European colonialism in Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia.

What is a primary source?

Primary sources are materials directly related to a topic by time or participation. These materials include letters, speeches, diaries, newspaper articles from the time, oral history interviews, documents, photographs, artifacts, or anything else that provides firsthand accounts about a person or event.

In Book Form


Broad-Scope Archival Searches

British Colonialism

Dutch Colonialism

While some of these pages are in English, the collections themselves must be searched using Dutch words.  Get a rough translation of titles and descriptions into English. 

Kewords to find Primary Sources

These are subheadings for primary sources published in book form. Search for these as keywords in Primo, combined with a main topic, such as women indonesia sources. You can mix and match, remembering to combine similar concepts together with "OR."  Ex. sources OR diaries OR correspondence.

  • sources
  • interviews
  • diaries
  • autobiograph* (best to use truncation)
  • correspondence
  • personal narratives
  • pamphlets
  • speeches
  • documents
  • archives
  • maps

For literary works as primary sources, try these search phrases.  Square brackets indicate that this is an example that you can modify with a parallel geographic area or adjective.  Ex. [Indonesian] replace with kenyan 

  • [Indonesian] [poetry] women authors
  • short stories [egypt] 
  • fiction
  • essays
  • drama
  • prose literature