Skip to Main Content

Education (General)

Education research resources

Getting Started

Primary sources, such as letters, diaries and news accounts, provide first-hand descriptions of history.  Historical researchers study primary source documents to help tell the story of our past.

Primary Sources

A sampling of primary sources available to you, either electronically or in print in our own Knox Library.

  • The Knox College Special Collections & Archives contains a wealth of primary materials related to the college, community and much more.  Two specific finding aids abstract manuscripts held in the Archives pertaining to educational history "Educational History" and "Texbook Inventory" (see details in box at left).  Materials in these collections describe the lives of teachers, students, administrators and much more. You must visit the Archives to view the materials, and it best to plan ahead (see hours on left.)
  • Primary source materials may also be published in book form and located via the Library's catalog.  Sample Keyword searches:
  • women  diaries  "united states"
  • student* correspondence "united states"
  • teacher* diaries "united states"
  • The Library of Congress has digitized a portion of their collection called American Memory.  Search keywords to locate manuscripts, multimedia and visual materials.  Search a subset, American Women, by keyword or browse the topical essays for examples of using multiple primary resources.


  • Periodicals from the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries can be valuable sources, providing editorials, news stories, first-hand accounts, pictures, illustrations and advertisements.  Use Poole's Index to Periodical Literature (indexing years 1815-1899) and Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature (indexing years 1802-1881), located on the 1st floor of Seymour Library, to find articles from that era.  Search the following online:  Historical New York Times (full images from 1851-2006); Harper's Weekly (a popular American journal, digitized from 1857- 1912); Making of America (digital 19th century books and journals); Nineteenth Century in Print (23 digitized periodicals).



  • Black Thought and Culture contains over 1200 sources covering non-fiction works of leading African Americans, including interviews, journal articles, speeches, essays, pamplets and letters. Browse by topic, search by keyword, author, subject and occupation (i.e. teacher).


Inventories in Special Collections

Primary source materials related to Education, such as student/teacher diaries and letters, are available in Knox Special Collections & Archives. 

  • Use the inventories below to identify items of interest.
  • Visit Special Collections to make your request (see contact information above).  Please plan ahead!
  • Materials will be retrieved and held for student use within Special Collections reading room.