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Primary Source Tips
Tips to make your primary source research smoother.
1) Pay attention to dates. Each resource below covers slightly different time periods. Some don't cover every year. The student newspaper database will also let you set a date range, which is very helpful.
2) The Serpentine and Course Catalogs--downloading them takes a while. Use the 'search inside' box to do a quick search and only download if needed.
3) Consider browsing. A course catalog or yearbook from 30 or 100 years ago may have very different information than one from today. Flip through one to to spark ideas or find out what something was called in the past.
4) Interview someone! If you are working on a WCU topic, someone may know the history of a program! Or there might be documents/memorabilia out there!
Below is a list of useful West Chester University publications. These items are produced here at West Chester University. Some of the materials have been digitized and are available online.
Covers activities, sports, clubs, organizations, and campus events, plus great for fashion and style. May also have pictures of campus buildings and the borough.
1871-2011 -- Undergraduate
1959 - 2011 -- Graduate
Covers topics like the programs and classes offered, fees, admission rules, buildings/campus projects, academic calendar, regulations/conduct rules, etc. Exact content changes over time.
WCU Student Newspapers
These are the student newspaper titles at WCU:
The Amulet (1892-1920)
The Quad Angles (1932-1975)
The Quad (1975-2011)
Student newspapers can provide excellent insight into campus and world events, student life, campus climate, etc. All issues from 1892-2011 are available and searchable online.
The Quad -- Current
Current issues of The Quad can be found here.
Mosiac of Normal School Memories
A precursor to WCU's yearbook, this small book includes photographs of the university and the town of West Chester in 1907.
WCU Archives Collection
Collection of digitized pamphlets about WCU History as well as other finds for Special Collections.
Useful Web Resources
Below is a list of some websites and web resources that might be useful for you and this assignment.
Chester County Historical Society
The Chester County Historical Society is located in West Chester and is a fantastic resource for local history. I would recommend contacting them before going to make sure that you can access the materials and the hours they are available.
WCU's Digital Collections
We have been digitizing materials in Special Collections and making them available online. These include our Course Catalogs and Yearbooks, which can both provide great information about WCU history.
History of Riggtown
A history by WCU retired professor Dr. Jim Jones.