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HIS 140: Early American History


Welcome to the HIS 140: Early American History Course Guide

This guide is designed to help you successfully complete your research assignments by leading you to relevant library resources and historical primary and secondary sources on the web. 

Primary and Secondary Sources

 Primary Sources

For historical purposes, primary sources are defined as eye-witness accounts of events/historical periods.  They are immediate, first-hand accounts of a topic

Primary sources include:

  • Diaries, journals, letters, interviews, speeches, memos, and manuscripts

Newspaper reports, by reporters who witnessed an event or who quote people who did.

Original research

Datasets, survey data, such as census or economic data

Photographs, video, or audio recordings

Secondary Sources

Secondary Sources are created  by someone who did not experience first-hand or participate in the events or experience:"second-hand accounts"  They often synthesize a collection of primary source and may include  pictures, or quotes of primary sources.

Secondary sources include:

Dictionaries, encyclopedias, books, book chapters, journal articles and dissertations


Analysis or interpretation of data.

Newspaper editorials

Documentaries (Note: Photos or video portions can be considered primary sources)