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HIST3394 - History of Madness

History of mental illness in the West since the Enlightenment.

Resources for History Related Research

These resources, commonly referred to as primary sources, include historical newspapers, historical journals, and digital collections. NOTE: for historical research purposes it is important to remember that what we call something today is not necessarily what it was referred to as in the past. For example the terms lunatic, lunacy, asylum, insane, insanity, and madness appear in many historical sources, whereas mental illness is a term most commonly used today.

Primary Sources

Examples of primary sources:

  • autobiographies or memoirs
  • historical news reportage
  • letters, diaries, interviews
  • manuscripts
  • original works of fiction, art, photographs, or music
  • journal articles that report original research or data
  • testimony or speeches
  • emphemera (posters, brochures, advertisements, etc.)

Secondary Sources

Information about a primary source, person, or event that provides an interpretation, analysis, or commentary.

Examples of secondary sources:

  • biographies
  • bibliographies
  • chronologies
  • critical articles (literary criticism)
  • dictionary and encyclopedia entries
  • editorials
  • non-fiction monographs
  • reviews

How to distinguish between primary and secondary sources