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HST 212: American Visions: Primary Sources

Dreamer. Dissident. Radical. We will explore these ideas in American history and culture through primary and secondary sources. We will look at resistance and reactionary responses to demands for inclusion and change.

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Primary & Secondary Sources

"The raw materials of history — original documents and objects which were created at the time under study." 

Primary Sources are created during the time of study

Examples: 

  • Newspaper or magazine articles
  • Books, pamphlets, government documents
  • Diaries, letters, manuscripts, speeches, interviews, relics, artifacts
  • Maps, archival materials, creative works
  • Art, visual materials, music, sound recordings, videos

 

Source:  Using Primary Sources by Library of Congress.. / Image Source: Primary Source Graphic by adstarkel. Used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

"Accounts or interpretations of events created by someone without firsthand experience." 

Secondary sources are created after the fact

Examples:

  • Publications (not 1st person perspective)
  • Journal articles
  • Books, textbooks
  • Histories, criticisms, commentaries
  • Reference materials, encyclopedias

Source:  Using Primary Sources by Library of Congress.. / Image Source: Secondary Source Graphic by adstarkel. Used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

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Historical Photo Collections

  • Digital Public Library of America - The Digital Public Library of America brings together the riches of America’s libraries, archives, and museums, and makes them freely available to the world. 
  • New York Public Library Digital CollectionsSpanning a wide range of historical eras, geography, and media, NYPL Digital Collections offers drawings, illuminated manuscripts, maps, photographs, posters, prints, rare illustrated books, videos, audio, and more. 
  • Retronaut on MashableBased on the widely popular blog that started as a side project in a basement, Retronaut reveals strange yet enlightening photographs from the past that somehow seem to depict another version of now. 

CONTACT

Email Butler University Libraries
Irwin Library: 317-940-9227
Science Library: 317-940-9937
CAT: 317-940-8575

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