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HIST 11A: Cultures of Islam (Hanania)

This guide was created for Dr. Marwan Doud Hanania's HIST 11A class, Fall 2022

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Undergraduate Learning Librarian

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Kelci Baughman McDowell
Santa Clara University
University Library
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053

What Is a Primary Source?

What Are Primary Sources?

"Primary sources are original records created at the time historical events occurred or well after events in the form of memoirs and oral histories. Primary sources may include letters, manuscripts, diaries, journals, newspapers, speeches, interviews, memoirs, documents produced by government agencies such as Congress or the Office of the President, photographs, audio recordings, moving pictures or video recordings, research data, and objects or artifacts such as works of art or ancient roads, buildings, tools, and weapons. These sources serve as the raw material to interpret the past, and when they are used along with previous interpretations by historians, they provide the resources necessary for historical research."
(American Library Association, Reference and User Services, History Section)

Finding Primary Sources

Finding Primary Sources

Option 1: Search in OSCAR

You can use the library online catalog, OSCAR, to find published primary sources or books that include reproductions of primary documents.

  • Do an author search to see if SCU Library owns a book written by specific people (e.g. a notable immigrant whose letters or journal you would want to read)
    • Last name, first name middle name
  • Do a simple search to find books on a topic
  • Combine the keywords representing the topic with keywords such as
    • correspondence, papers, speeches, memoirs, personal narratives, documents, sources
    • e.g. immigration korea narratives

Option 2: Newspaper Archives through SCU Library

Newspaper and Magazine Archives

Option 3: Primary Sources on the Web

Primary Source Repositories