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Background sources are useful for providing overviews. They may give historical context, or include bibliographies of works on a given topic. Types: encyclopedias, dictionaries, bibliographies.
Enter the scholarly conversation. Find out what other academics are writing about your subject, and use their opinions to complement or contrast with your own arguments.
Interdisciplinary digital library of books and scholarly articles.
MLA International Bibliography
Literature, languages, folklore, and linguistics. Includes English and foreign languages. Covers 1963 to the present.
Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature
Covers articles from 1920 - present (but lags by one year).
Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals
Covers architecture, architectural design, archaeology, furniture and decoration, historic preservation, the history of architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, urban planning.
Primary resources take advantage of direct experience - including your own! An artist's letters, a reviewer's of-the-time opinions, or your own experience of a performance all can be considered primary resources.