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History 480: Primary Sources @ USAFA

Course guide for History 480: Studies in American Civilization

Primary Sources at USAFA

This tab highlights the library's digital collections which students can utilize in their research for History 480 to find primary sources on the topic of slavery.  These online primary source collections include historical newspapers.  The library also has a wide selection of primary source materials in print and electronic book format.  Use the Library Catalog to find published primary sources.  On the right side of the page below are examples of types of primary sources.  In particular, use the terms listed under Books and Government Documents to locate primary sources in the Library Catalog.

Primary sources provide firsthand accounts or direct evidence to the event, person, object or place.  These sources are created by participants or witnesses of the event at the time it occurred, or their experiences are recorded later in the form of an autobiography, memoir or oral history. 

Secondary sources, on the other hand, provide a more critical analysis of an event, person or object.  They often interpret primary sources and refer to secondary sources created by other authors to help formulate a less personal account.

Primary Source Documents from a Reference Publication

Primary Source Articles from Historical Newspaper and Periodical Collections

Primary Source Collections in Library Databases

Citing Primary Sources

Types of Primary Sources

correspondence, diaries,
letters, manuscripts,
memoirs, pamphlets,
papers, personal narratives,
sources, speeches, statistics
Creative Works
art works, architecture, films,
maps, music recordings,
paintings, photographs,
poems, sculptures, etc.
Government Documents
law and legislation, treaties
Journal/Newspaper Articles
witnessed reported events,
reports that quote witnesses
News Sources
broadcast transcripts
Oral Histories and Culture
audio/video recordings,
folklore, storytelling,
Research Data
datasets, original research,
statistics, surveys

Types of Secondary Sources

based on primary works,
academic research on a subject,
analytical, interpretive,
biographies, dissertations
Journal/Newspaper Articles
non-witnessed reported events,
scholarly research on topics,
critiques or essays
Research Data
analysis of data,
interpretation of data

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U.S. Air Force Academy, USAFA, CO 80840, (719) 333-2590 DSN: 333-2590, Updated 8 Apr 2018
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