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BISGWS 302: Histories And Movements Of Gender And Sexuality (Shayne W 2023): Home - Digital Archives and Primary Source Collections


Chainsaw zine by Donna Dresch

We've created this guide to support your research in BISGWS 302: Histories and Movements of Gender and Sexuality.


If you want help with your research, please contact a UW Librarian using the chat box or contact Penelope Wood, GWSS Librarian at ( If you have any questions about research or using library resources (searching a digital archive, accessing a database, finding an article, checking out books...), there's help 24/7!  ASK US.



Image: CHAINSAW zine by Donna Dresch; Gift to Dr. Julie Shayne [via Jody Bleyle], from Donna Dresch's personal collection. 

This image is an example of a primary source.

What's in the Guide?

Use this guide to for resources and support for your assignments. This guide includes pages about:

  • Digital Archives and Primary Source Collections
  • Building a Feminist Archive - archive links and browsing prompts
  • Open Student Work Guide
  • Public Writing Guide
  • Feminist Archives Exhibits - Class Omeka site

Digital Archives and Primary Source Collections

REMINDER- in BISGWS 302, Dr. Shayne has preselected digital archives for your research. You can find the list of preselected archives and prompts for directed browsing in the Building a Feminist Archive Assignment tab on this guide. 


Many universities and governments have digitized selections from their special collections and archives similar to the UW Libraries Special Collections department and UW Bothell/Cascadia Library Digital Collections. If you are interested in searching for digital archives, try a Google search with the keywords -- digital collections university -- to find other collections to browse.

For many of us in this class, it may be the first time we've worked with primary sources. Watch this short (under 2 minutes) video from librarians at Appalachian State University to learn how to distinguish primary and secondary sources.

Now that you have an idea of what primary sources are, you may need some tips on how to engage and think about primary source materials.

The U.S. National Archives offers some steps for Primary Source Document Analysis to help you get a contextual understanding and to extract information to make informed judgments about primary sources.

Follow this progression for careful document analysis: 

  1. Meet the document.
  2. Observe its parts.
  3. Try to make sense of it.
  4. Use it as historical evidence.

Follow these steps each time you encounter a primary source. 

The U.S. National Archives document analysis worksheets — for photos, written documents, artifacts, posters, maps, cartoons, videos, and sound recordings — can be useful if you are new to researching primary sources. Select the worksheets for secondary students for useful prompts on document analysis.

Research and Instruction Librarian

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Penelope Wood
UWB/CC Campus Library
425-352-3467 (voice & relay)

Head of Digital Scholarship

Denise Hattwig

Denise Hattwig


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