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Library resources for philosophy: find primary and secondary sources online and on the library shelves

What are Primary Sources?

In Philosophy, primary sources can include:

  • Philosophical texts, treatises, meditations

  • Personal narratives, diaries, memoirs, correspondence, letters

  • Speeches

Find Primary Sources in the Library Catalogue

Search in the Library Catalogue and enter the philosopher you want to read as an author, or the work you want to read as a title


  • Author: Beauvoir, Simone de

  • Title: Diary of a Philosophy Student

For prolific philosophers, try using an Advanced Search to specify both title and author.

  • Author: Plato Title: Republic

  • Author: Confucius Title: Analects

If you are looking for works in translation, limit by language, eg:

  • Author: Aristotle Language: English

  • Author: Spinoza, Benedictus de 
    Language: English

If you are looking for a short treatise by a specific philosopher, look for the collected works of that philosopher, eg:

  • Author: Wittgenstein Title: Works 
    - using the title word "Works" will give you English translations

Search the Library to find Primary Sources

Search the Library to find books and ebooks by your Philosopher. Use limits to narrow down by language, author, format, etc. Examples:

Find Primary Sources in Selected Digital Collections

Classical Texts

Ask Us

Sometimes questions are more important than answers - Nancy Willard

Philosophy Librarian

Lindsay Johnston
1-01 Rutherford Library South
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Canada
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