Thursday, April 29, 2010

Primary Documents

Your blogger has gotten some questions lately about how to find primary documents and so here are some tips to get started. First would be to have a look at our Primary Sources  research guide. The guide mentions things like how to find books that are primary documents - look for autobiographies or correspondance of a person in the catalog, or try using the phrase personal narratives, like civil war personal narratives, to get people's accounts of their experiences in the Civil War for example. The NY Times Historical is  the whole newspaper, 1851-2004, so if your research falls in that time frame that would give you newspaper articles from your time period. Or search Google, many diaries, letters etc. can be found online nowadays - the American Memory site at the Library of Congress is a great example of that. Pictured here is Rube Witt, a former slave who was interviewed about his slavery experience in the 1930s as part of a federal project.

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