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HIST 11A: Slavery and Unfreedom

This guide was created to support History 11A: Slavery and Unfreedom. If you have any questions about the guide, please contact Anna Yang ayang3@scu.edu

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

Primary Sources in Oscar:

You can  use the library online catalog, OSCAR, to find  published primary sources or books including primary documents. If you are interesting in the writings of a specific individual, just do an author search.  If you are looking for primary sources on a specific topic, enter your keywords and add one of the following words, depending on what you are looking for:  correspondence, papers, speeches, memoirs, personal narratives, documents, sources.  
For example: Haitian revolution and documents
                     Abolitionis* and sources

Here are some collection of primary sources you can find in OSCAR:

Databases and Collections of Primary Sources

Newspaper and Magazine Archives

Articles from the time period of the events you are researching are also primary sources.  Consider these newspapers and archives for your topic.