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History: Primary Resources   Tags: history, history_primary_resources, primary_resources, primary_sources  

A guide dedicated to primary resources related to United States and international history.
Last Updated: Jul 5, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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    Welcome to the Henry Whittemore Library Primary Resources in History LibGuide!  Please feel free to contact a librarian at any time during your research process.


    What are primary sources?

    Primary sources are materials that offer original data about a particular time, place or event. Primary source materials are usually created at the time period that is studied.  Primary sources are materials that have not undergone any sort of evalution or interpretation.  Examples of primary sources include:

    Diaries and Autobiographies

    "On the scene" interviews






    Newspaper articles


    Audio/ video recordings

    Musical scores



    Court records



    Primary sources may also include materials that were created by a witness of a time period or event, but at a later date. Examples of these types of primary sources include autobiographies and oral interviews.


    Secondary sources - what is the difference?

    Secondary sources are materials that have been created by someone such as a historian or an author. Secondary sources offer an evaluation or opinion on data gathered from a primary source. Examples of secondary source materials include:

    • biographies
    • newspaper or journal articles written after the event
    • the research paper you write

    The bibliography of a secondary source may be useful to locate a primary source. For example, if you find a journal article related to your research topic, check the bibliography of that article for primary sources that the author used.

    Subject Librarian

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    Debbie Percher, MLS, MA
    Contact Info
    Debbie Percher
    Reference Librarian
    Framingham State University
    100 State Street PO Box 9101
    Whittemore Library 117
    Framingham, MA 01701-9101
    Tel: 508-626-4654
    Fax: 508-626-4047
    IM: fscrefdesk
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    Subject Guide

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    Marion Slack M.L.S.
    Contact Info
    Reference Librarian
    Framingham State University
    100 State Street PO Box 9101
    Whittemore Library 117
    Framingham, MA 01701-9101
    508-626-4654 (Reference desk)

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