HIST1302 History| Library of Congress

Primary sources are the raw materials of historical research – they are the documents or artifacts closest to the topic of investigation. Often they are created during the time period which is being studied (correspondence, diaries, newspapers, government documents, art) but they can also be produced later by eyewitnesses or participants (memoirs, oral histories). You may find primary sources in their original format (usually in an archive) or reproduced in a variety of ways: books, microfilm, digital, etc. They are the most direct evidence of a time or event because they were created by people or things that were there at the time or event. These sources have not been modified by interpretation and offer original thought or new information. In the study of history as an academic discipline, a primary source is an artifact, document, diary, manuscript, autobiography, recording, or any other source of information that was created at the time under study. It serves as an original source of information about the topic. Primary Sources are immediate, first-hand accounts of a topic, from people who had a direct connection with it. Primary sources can include: Texts of laws and other original documents. Newspaper reports, by reporters who witnessed an event. How to Identify a Primary Source: When was it written? Was it written at the time of the event or by someone that participated in or observed the event? Is it an original source of information? Where to Find Primary Sources: Government websites and some universities are repositories of Primary Source documents. Those websites will end in .gov or .edu. Two websites that I recommend are www.docsteach.org (Links to an external site.) (National Archives database searchable by subject) and www.loc.gov/collections/ (Library of Congress database). Assignment: Select a Primary Source Document on the topic you chose in assignment 1 (2ND Great Awakening). Write an annotation that includes the following information: Give a full citation of the Primary Source Document based on MLA format. If you select an online source make sure you include the name of the online source i.e. Library of Congress, etc… and the web address. What makes this document a primary source? Discuss at least two specific pieces of information that you found in the work that you would use in an essay on the topic. Submit as a Word document in Canvas by the due date.
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