How to Find Primary Sources

Primary sources are documents that are direct records of an event, raw data, documents, magazines or newspapers from the time, photos or other material created at the time of an event. Even audio recordings, buildings, or just about anything could be considered primary sources.

Our historical primary source databases are located here.

Again, if you’re working in the field of history, you can search our catalog for published collections of primary sources.

Our history maven Margaret Vavarek suggests the searching the following key words in the catalog: Correspondence, Description and Travel, Diaries, Interviews, Personal Narratives, Sources, Letters or Speeches

Featured Author: Novelist Donna Tartt

Donna Tartt (link to our books here) s a best selling author whose principal theme is the moral seduction of working class innocents who are drawn into the world of glamorous but dangerous wealthy people.

Here’s a review of her work (about her famous debut The Secret History) from Literature Resource Center.

“The Secret History is less a mystery–the killers are revealed on the first page–than “an exploration of evil, both banal and bizarre,” in the words of Martha Duffy in Time. The story is narrated by Richard Papen, a transfer student who disavows his own middle-class upbringing to gain entrance into an elitist circle of students. “The gradual moral seduction of Richard is all the more cleverly revealed by its depiction in his own voice,” commented Andrew Rosenheim in the New York Times Book Review. As Richard becomes accepted by the group, he learns that four out of the five other members had participated in the bloody murder of a farmer who interrupted their late-night “bacchanal.” When one among the small coterie threatens to betray this dark secret, that person, too, is killed. “Tartt shows a superior sense of pace, playing off her red herrings and foreshadowings like an old hand at the suspense game,” Duffy stated in Time. In the New York Times Book Review, Rosenheim praised Tartt’s “skillful investigation of the chasm between academe’s supposed ideals and the vagaries of its actual behavior” and further commented that her prose was “at once lush and precise.” Nancy Wood, reviewing The Secret History in Maclean’s, believed that Tartt “is strongest when she finds poetry in everyday events: the sights and smells of a campus, the familiarity of certain television shows.” The Secret History, Wood concluded, “stands out as well written and original.”

 

Literary Passings: Brian Aldiss, Science Fiction Master

All Brian Aldiss library books here.

From the Washington Post:

Brian Aldiss, a British science-fiction writer whose inventive tales of climate change, alien civilization and the loneliness of robots — including a five-page magazine story that formed the basis of Steven Spielberg’s movie “A.I.” — helped elevate a genre many critics had long dismissed as mass-market pulp, died Aug. 19 at his home in Oxford, one day after turning 92.

A daughter, Wendy Aldiss, said he had a stroke in 2016 and had a pacemaker in his heart — “which he loved, because it made him part robot.”

Mr. Aldiss was part of sci-fi’s 1960s New Wave period, when writers such as Arthur C. Clarke (“2001: A Space Odyssey”) and J.G. Ballard (“The Wind From Nowhere”) wrote books that featured politically charged themes and experimental literary techniques.

We Have Screenplays

Find all screenplays here.

Did you know that we have screenplays at the Alkek Library? Technically, they are housed at the Southwest Writers, Wittliff Collections Reading Room, on the seventh floor of the library.

While the screenplays cannot leave the building, stop by and spend a few minutes reading everything from major Hollywood productions to critically acclaimed small films.

FabJob Books Help You Start Your Career Or Business

All FabJob books here.

FabJob books are well-written, easy-to-read guides to how to get a job or start a business in your chosen field. There are books on becoming a coffee shop owner, a fashion designer, a secondhand close retailer and more. Covers everything from the credentials you might need, to capital requirements and the nuts and bolts of running that business.

Highly recommended.

How to Search Using Parentheses – As In: (Emily or Charlotte) Bronte

What if there are two are more common or related words and you want to include both of them in your search?  You’ll use parentheses – it works like an algebraic equation.

You enter your search into the database like so:

Example (blue or harvest) moon. You’ll get results that include blue and moon and harvest and moon.

(Soviet or Russia) “Cold War”

You’ll get results that include Soviet and “Cold War” AND Russia and “Cold War.”

If you have been doing searches like blue or harvest moon, you’ll get results back that feature only the word blue together with results that mix harvest and moon. No blue moon exactly, just blue….skies, bells, tooth, etc…

The parentheses make sure (those words go together.)

How To Read A Call Number and Find a Book

callnumCall numbers are those letters and numbers written on a piece of paper taped to the spine of the book. There are just codes for different subjects – psychology, criminal justice, poetry, and so on.

Normally, you’d be doing a search in the catalog and you’ll see this.

bigca

The call number is in the middle of the record.  It also tells you what floor to go to.

Once you get to the floor, each aisle tells you what numbers are on that aisle. Just like a grocery store.

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Printing @ Alkek

We now have BYOD printing (bring your own device).

Here’s how it works.

EMAIL PRINTING

Using your Texas State e-mail account, send an email to one of these addresses (duplex-alk@txstate.edu or letter-alk@txstate.edu (duplex is for double-sided print jobs, letter is for single- sided print jobs).

Attach any documents would like to print to the email.  The body of your email also show up as a print job if you want to print that way.

Go to a print release station to release your print jobs.  There are print release stations available on every floor of Alkek library.

UPLOAD PRINTING:

Navigate to http://printeron.its.txstate.edu/

Click of the print button.  Login with your Texas State netID and password.  Expand all of the categories and select a printer you want to print two.  Use duplex for two-sided print jobs and letter for single-sided print jobs.  Browse for an upload the document you want to print.  Click continue once the document is selected for upload.  Click continue once more after adjusting page sizes.  Wait for the job to upload.  Once the page displays complete go to a print release station to release your job.

IMG_0612