Primary Sources are original documents or accounts created at the time of an historical event or era. Memoirs, oral histories, and interviews are considered primary sources when they record direct eyewitness accounts to an event or era.
Types of primary sources include:
Letters & Diaries
Interviews & Memoirs
Buildings & Artifacts
Maps & Images
Works of Art
Movies & Video
These sources serve as the raw material to interpret the past, and when they are used along with previous interpretations by historians, they provide the resources necessary for historical research.
Secondary sources comment upon, explain, or interpret primary sources. They may include scholarly books, journal and magazine articles, encyclopedias, dictionaries, biographies, reviews, and textbooks. Keep in mind that, like any good retelling, the closer a secondary source is to the primary information, the more accurate.
Thanks to technology, libraries, archives, and museums around the country are digitizing their collections—making it possible to view thousands of primary source collections formerly restricted in access. Here are a few worth exploring...
The Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives at New York University form a unique, internationally-known center for scholarly research on Labor and the Left.
The primary focus of our collections is the complex relationship between trade unionism and progressive politics, and how this shifted over time. Tamiment has one of the finest research collections in the country documenting the history of radical politics: socialism, communism, anarchism, the cultural left, the New Left and the struggle for civil rights and liberties.
This website is a digital repository for Tamiment’s growing collection of digitized materials, including oral histories, films, photos, posters, special projects, publications and Tamiment events.
The Studs Terkel Radio ArchiveOver the course of his 45 years on WFMT radio,
Studs Terkel discussed every aspect of 20th-century life with
movers, shakers, artists, and working folks.
From civil rights to labor to jazz, his work spanned an impressive array of topics and figures. These
enchanting, historically-significant interviews — which have been largely inaccessible to the public —
are gradually coming to life in a new website hosting the comprehensive Studs Terkel Radio Archive.
Image database containing over 1 million images from art, architecture, music, world history and more. Collections are made up of contributions from museums, libraries, artists' estates, photographers, and scholars from all over the world.
Registered users are able to save images as well as download them into a presentation slide format.
For home access, contact the library staff.
Punch, a magazine of humour and satire, ran from 1841-2002. A very British institution renowned internationally for its wit and irreverence, it introduced the term 'cartoon' as we know it today and published the works of great comic writers and poets such as W.M. Thackeray, Mayhew, P.G. Wodehouse, Sir John Betjeman, Alan Coren and Miles Kington amongst others. Its political and social cartoons swayed governments, capturing life in detail from the 19th and 20th centuries.
"An online resource providing a vast collection of digitised primary and secondary sources for the study of history. It is suitable for a wide range of users, from high school students looking for quick and reliable facts on a historical topic, to researchers examining hard-to-find primary source texts." Includes Study Units, Historical Documents, Maps, References titles, Multimedia, Academic Journals, and Primary Sources.
Images provided through the Music Manuscripts Online Web pages may be printed or downloaded for personal, educational, or noncommercial use. For example, images may be printed out for study, or downloaded for classroom presentations, dissertations, or non-commercial Web sites or blogs. The images must remain unaltered. The accompanying description (e.g. "Front matter, p. [i]; title page. Chopin, Frédéric, 1810-1849. Allegro de concert. Allegro de concert : manuscript in the hand of Julian Fontana, 1841? Heineman MS 42B") must be included without alteration, and the citation should include the manuscript URL (e.g. http://www.themorgan.org/music/manuscript/114337)
Opposing Viewpoints in Context is an engaging online experience for those seeking contextual information and opinions on hundreds of today's hottest social issues. Drawing on the acclaimed Greenhaven Press series, the solution features continuously updated viewpoints, topic overviews, full-text magazines, academic journals, news articles, primary source documents, statistics, images, videos, audio files and links to vetted websites organized into a user-friendly portal experience.
World History in Context is an engaging online experience for those seeking contextual information on hundreds of the most significant people, events and topics in World History. The new solution merges Gale's authoritative reference content with full-text magazines, academic journals, news articles, primary source documents, images, videos, audio files and links to vetted websites organized into a user-friendly portal experience.