Finding Primary Sources Using Subscription Databases

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Support for a lesson and further reference on primary sources and databases.

Support for a lesson and further reference on primary sources and databases.

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  • 1. Finding Primary Sources
    Using Databases
  • 2. Primary Sources, what?
    Original records created at the time historical events occurred, or
    Memoirs and oral histories, created after the event occurred.
    Letters, manuscripts, diaries, journals, newspapers, speeches, interviews, memoirs, documents produced by government agencies, photographs, audio recordings, videos, research data, and objects or artifacts such as works of art or ancient roads, buildings, tools, and weapons.
    “Using Primary Sources on the Web” Reference and User Services, ALA.10 Jan. 2008. Web. 11 Mar 2010.
  • 3. Primary Sources, why? where?
    Original evidence
    Stories altered/distorted when retold--> telephone game.
    Originals: National Archives, Museums, Private Holdings.
    Scanned Image of Document or Transcribed Text: Databases, books.
  • 4. Example:
    Herbert Hoover: quote on the Great Depression
    "Once upon a time my political opponents honored me as possessing the fabulous intellectual and economic power by which I created a world-wide depression all by myself."
    "Herbert Hoover: quote on the Great Depression." American History. ABC-CLIO, 2010. Web. 19 Mar. 2010. <>.
  • 5. Primary Sources… need analysis!
    Where was the source made/found?
    Who is the intended audience?
    What is the purpose?
    Is their bias in the account?
    What is the tone?
    What assumptions/conclusions does author make?
    Is the information intentionally distorted?
  • 6. Databases, why?
    Is the information provided accurate or biased?
    Who is responsible for providing this information?
    Why are they providing this information?
    Are their resources accurate, evaluated and reputable?
    What do others say about using this resource?
  • 7. Searching
    Eliminate unnecessary words.
    Does this phrase/term have an alternate meaning?
    Do I need to be more specific? more general?
    Possible synonyms?
    Advanced Search
    Boolean operators: “, and, not, ( ).
  • 8. User ID:
    Choose database
    Advanced Search
    Choose Categories and Era
    No save or folders option; use ID number as reference/bookmark.
    Image source under image
    Check other databases
  • 9. User ID:
    Choose database, (American History Online)
    Folder login (top right), create folder, login
    Learning Center Topic
    Primary Sources and Additional Resources
    Save wanted items
  • 10. General, not subject limited, database
    User ID:
    Choose Student Research Center
    Sign In using tab at top. Create account. Use Destiny sign in info for user ID and password.
    Uncheck all, check Primary Source Docs or
    Enter search terms “the great depression”
    Advanced Search to limit primary source type
    Click on Print for work cited Information.
    Add “to save” items to folder
  • 11. User ID:
    World Book Advanced
    Advanced Search
    Uncheck All
    Check Primary Sources and choose Sound and Picture types
    Enter Search Terms
  • 12. Exit Card: