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Resources for Historical Research


What are primary sources?
Primary sources are documents, records, or artifacts created at the time of a historical event or at a later date (as in the case of memoirs) by participants in or observers of the event.

For information about locating primary sources see:
  • Using Primary Sources. (Library of Congress)
  • netTUTOR: History Research-- Primary Sources (Ohio State University)
  • Opening History: U.S. History Resources from Libraries Museums, and Archives. Access from the State Library of Ohio Digital and Special Collections page. This is a registry of websites searchable by subject, location, and object type-- e.g. images, manuscripts, and 3-dimensional objects
  • Using Primary Sources on the Web (American Library Association). Includes links to authoritative collections of primary sources and advice on evaluating primary source Web sites.
  • Tips for Google searches
    • Add these terms to your search string: digital (archive or library or collection or gallery)
    • Put your basic term in quotation marks if it is a phrase. For example: "women's history" digital (archive or library or collection)

Online collections of primary sources:

What are secondary sources?

Secondary sources are written by historian and other scholars some time after the events happen. They analyze people, events, and actions and place them in historical context. Secondary sources can include books and articles as well as conference presentations, theses and dissertations.

These videos may help you search. Use headphones for the audio. The control bar at the bottom of the screen will allow you to advance,pause, or review as needed.

Keyword Searching in KentLINK
Created by Lilith R. Kunkel e-mail: lkunkel@kent.edu  11/29/2011