Presentation on theme: "Finding Primary Documents A Tutorial. What Are Primary Sources? Although the terms primary and secondary are not always sharply divided, in general. primary."— Presentation transcript:
What Are Primary Sources? Although the terms primary and secondary are not always sharply divided, in general. primary sources are documents that are first-hand accounts of events, or the raw data that can be used to interpret events or behaviors. Secondary sources are those that interpret or comment upon events.
Types of Primary Sources Written Documents –Federal and state laws –Federal, state, or local government documents, including birth, marriage, and death records, court records, census records, etc. –Autobiographical works, including books and memoirs –Personal papers, including diaries and correspondence –Creative works, including fiction –Magazine, newspaper, or journal articles written during the time period that you’re writing about –Accounts of research, including research diaries, reports, and articles –from Reading, Writing, and Researching for History: A Guide for College Students Patrick Rael, Bowdoin University http://www.bowdoin.edu/writing-guides/primaries.htm http://www.bowdoin.edu/writing-guides/primaries.htm
Types of Primary Sources Oral Histories or Traditions Interviews, speeches, and personal narratives. Often these are sound/audio or video recordings. Visual Artifacts such as paintings, films, photographs, maps, coins, stamps, tombstones, or other creative media.
When To Use Primary and Secondary Sources Newspaper articles, weekly/monthly news magazines, diaries, correspondence, and diplomatic records of the time period being studied. Articles in scholarly journals analyzing the war, possibly footnoting primary documents; books analyzing the war. The University of Pittsburgh offers a handout explaining how scholars from different fields might use secondary and primary sources. This is one example of a historian researching WWI. http://www.library.pitt.edu/john/sources.pdfhttp://www.library.pitt.edu/john/sources.pdf
Sites for Primary Sources Primary Sources on the Web (mostly historical) http://www.eduplace.com/ss/hmss/primary.html Repositories of Primary Sources (by state and country) http://www.uiweb.uidaho.edu/special- collections/Other.Repositories.htmlhttp://www.uiweb.uidaho.edu/special- collections/Other.Repositories.html Repositories of Primary Sources (dozens of topics, e.g., religion, science, television) http://www.uiweb.uidaho.edu/special-collections/other.html Primary Sources and Real World Data (real life data sources, e.g., statistics, science) http://eduscapes.com/tap/topic88.htm#2http://eduscapes.com/tap/topic88.htm#2 http://www.bachelorsdegreeonline.com/blog/2009/100-terrific-sites- to-find-primary-source-history-documents/ (links to dozens of sites with primary census, historical, museum, and arts materials)http://www.bachelorsdegreeonline.com/blog/2009/100-terrific-sites- to-find-primary-source-history-documents/ National Archives http://www.archives.gov/http://www.archives.gov/
Sites for Primary Sources: Sources of Government Information Library of Congress http://www.loc.gov/rr/news/extgovd.html (provides links) http://www.loc.gov/rr/news/extgovd.html FedNet (Congressional information) http://www.fednet.net/ http://www.fednet.net/ USA. gov http://www.usa.gov/http://www.usa.gov/ U.S. Government RSS Library http://www.usa.gov/Topics/Reference_Shelf/Libraries/RS S_Library.shtmlhttp://www.usa.gov/Topics/Reference_Shelf/Libraries/RS S_Library.shtml CQ Congressional Quarterly (Congressional News) http://www.usa.gov/Topics/Reference_Shelf/Libraries/RS S_Library.shtmlhttp://www.usa.gov/Topics/Reference_Shelf/Libraries/RS S_Library.shtml
More Sites The Library of Congress maintains several online Digital Collections where they can be retrieved. Examples of these areLibrary of Congress –American Memory –Prints and Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC). The National Archives and Records Administration also has such a tool, called Access to Archival Databases (AAD)National Archives and Records Administration Access to Archival Databases (AAD)
Other Ways of Finding Primary Sources Using a search engine to find specific primary sources is not that difficult to do. Sometimes it is as easy as typing in your topic and adding "primary sources" to your search string. Check your library's databases to learn what collections of materials are available to search. If your library is large, you can browse the databases by subject, as well as database title.