U T S C Library Cold War Presentation

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U T S C Library Cold War Presentation

  1. 1. Using Primary and Secondary Sources Presented by Sarah Forbes University of Toronto Scarborough Library June 11, 2009
  2. 2. GETTING STARTED
  3. 3. Overview <ul><li>Define primary and secondary sources </li></ul><ul><li>Learn search strategies to successfully find relevant sources </li></ul><ul><li>Examine different evaluation criteria to consider when selecting/using sources </li></ul><ul><li>Research & analysis activity </li></ul><ul><li>Class discussion </li></ul><ul><li>Summary & questions </li></ul>
  4. 4. Primary or Secondary Source? Source: Flikr, Uploaded on March 29, 2008 by Mr. Beaverhousen
  5. 5. What are primary sources? <ul><li>&quot;[A] document or record containing first-hand information or original data on a topic...&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Note: It is the content, not necessarily the format, of a work that makes it a primary source. Excerpts or translations of original documents are acceptable. </li></ul>Definition from: Reitz, J. M. (2007). ODLIS online dictionary of library and information science. Danbury, CT: Western Connecticut State University. http://simplelink.library.utoronto.ca/url.cfm/23933
  6. 6. Primary sources can include… <ul><li>Interviews, diaries, letters, journals, speeches, autobiographies, and witness statements </li></ul><ul><li>Articles containing original research, data, or findings never before shared </li></ul><ul><li>Original hand-written manuscripts </li></ul><ul><li>Government documents and public records </li></ul><ul><li>Art, photographs, films, maps, fiction, and music </li></ul><ul><li>Newspaper and magazine clippings </li></ul><ul><li>Artifacts, buildings, furniture, and clothing </li></ul>
  7. 7. So what are secondary sources? <ul><li>&quot;Any published or unpublished work that is one step removed from the original source, usually describing, summarizing, analyzing, evaluating, derived from, or based on primary source materials...“ </li></ul><ul><li>History textbooks, dictionaries, encyclopedias, interpretive journal articles, commentaries and book reviews are all examples of secondary sources.   </li></ul>Definition from: Reitz, J. M. (2007). ODLIS online dictionary of library and information science. Danbury, CT: Western Connecticut State University. http://simplelink.library.utoronto.ca/url.cfm/23933
  8. 8. U of T Scarborough Library
  9. 9. Before you search… <ul><li>Think about what types of primary sources might have been produced that would be relevant to your topic; think also about which persons or organizations might have produced materials.   </li></ul><ul><li>Gather the information you have about your topic and consider what you still need to know before you start researching, including: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Names of key people, organizations, government agencies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Places </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Finding background information Reference works and secondary sources can help you find background information on your topic.
  11. 11. SEARCHING THE LIBRARY CATALOGUE
  12. 12. Searching the library catalogue <ul><li>Search the library catalogue for the name of a relevant individual or organization as an author (last name, first name). </li></ul><ul><li>If you do not have the name of an individual, search the library catalogs by subject or keyword and add the appropriate terms to designate your source material. </li></ul><ul><li>Example:  Vietnam War AND veterans AND interviews </li></ul>
  13. 13. Searching for articles <ul><li>Search research databases to locate the citations of relevant articles. </li></ul><ul><li>Remember to limit the publication date - the article has to have been written during the time period you are writing about to be considered a primary source. </li></ul><ul><li>Hint: Consult a reference book or other secondary source if you need help narrowing down dates. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Finding articles <ul><li>STEP #1: Search Indexes </li></ul><ul><li>Search one or more journal and/or newspaper index(es) to find references to articles on your topic. To find the best research resources on your subject, begin here . </li></ul><ul><li>STEP #2: Retrieve Articles UTL Get it image </li></ul><ul><li>When searching most indexes, a link to &quot;Get it UTL&quot; will appear, which will search U of T's journal collections. If there is no&quot;Get it&quot; link, or you experience problems, simply search for the journal title (not the article title) in the UTL Catalogue ( Help Guide ) or the E-Journals Collection . Alternatively, enter the reference information in the &quot; Article Finder &quot;. </li></ul><ul><li>Step #3: Verifying and evaluating articles </li></ul><ul><li>To learn about different types of articles click here . To find out if the article is from an &quot;academic&quot;, &quot;scholarly&quot;, &quot;peer-reviewed&quot; or &quot;refereed&quot; journal check the journal title (not the article title) in the Ulrich's Periodical Directory . </li></ul>
  15. 15. FINDING PRIMARY SOURCES ON THE WEB
  16. 16. Government Documents: <ul><li>U.S. Department of State – Office of the Historian - http://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/ </li></ul><ul><li>On-line version of the out-of-print Codification of Presidential Proclamations and Executive Orders April 13, 1945 - January 20, 1989 http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/codification/proclamations/03447.html </li></ul><ul><li>You may also want to consult the Executive Orders Disposition Tables which spans from January 8, 1937 - present </li></ul><ul><li>U.S. National Archives and Records Administration http://www.archives.gov/ </li></ul><ul><li>Archival Research Catalog http://www.archives.gov/research/arc/ </li></ul><ul><li>For other repositories: http://www.uiweb.uidaho.edu/special-collections/Other.Repositories.html </li></ul>
  17. 17. Interviews, Oral Histories & Personal Narratives: <ul><li>In the First Person – an in-depth index of close to 4,000 collections of letters, diaries, oral histories and personal narratives – most freely available - http://www.inthefirstperson.com </li></ul><ul><li>Center (VMI) Cold War History Project - VMI Archives Military Oral History Database- http://www1.vmi.edu/archivecoldwar/ </li></ul><ul><li>Rutgers Oral History Archives -- primarily dealing with 20th century wars - http://oralhistory.rutgers.edu/ </li></ul><ul><li>Library of Congress –Veterans History Project – includes interviews, correspondence and images - http://www.loc.gov/vets/ </li></ul><ul><li>Library of Congress - American Memory Project - Frontline Diplomacy - transcriptions of interviews with 20th century American diplomats - http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/diplomacy/ </li></ul>
  18. 18. Films and Photographs: <ul><li>Internet Archive - Moving Image Archive - Includes educational and propaganda films from the mid-20th century - http://www.archive.org/details/movies </li></ul><ul><li>Library of Congress - Prints & Photographs Online Catalog http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/catalog.html </li></ul><ul><li>LIFE photo archive - from the 1750s to today - http://images.google.com/hosted/life </li></ul>
  19. 19. Magazines: <ul><li>Time Archive - transcriptions to Time magazine articles from 1923 onwards. http://www.time.com/time/ </li></ul>
  20. 20. EVALUATING PRIMARY SOURCES
  21. 21. Time and Place Rule <ul><li>The closer in time and place a source and its creator were to an event in the past, the better the source will be. Based on this rule, better primary sources (starting with the most reliable) might include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Direct traces of the event; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accounts of the event, created at the time it occurred, by firsthand observers and participants; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accounts of the event, created after the event occurred, by firsthand observers and participants. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Source: &quot;The Historian's Sources,&quot; The Learning Page. Library of Congress. http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/ndlpedu/lessons/psources/analyze.html . </li></ul>
  22. 22. Bias Rule <ul><li>Every source is biased in some way. Documents tell us only what the creator of the document thought happened, or perhaps only what the creator wants us to think happened. </li></ul><ul><li>Every piece of evidence and every source must be read or viewed skeptically and critically. </li></ul><ul><li>No piece of evidence should be taken at face value. The creator's point of view must be considered. </li></ul><ul><li>Each piece of evidence and source must be cross-checked and compared with related sources and pieces of evidence. </li></ul><ul><li> Source: &quot;The Historian's Sources,&quot; The Learning Page. Library of Congress. http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/ndlpedu/lessons/psources/analyze.html . </li></ul>
  23. 23. How trustworthy is the reproduction/transcription? <ul><li>Consider the following points: </li></ul><ul><li>Source: Is there a citation for the original source? </li></ul><ul><li>Version: Is the version a revision or update of the original? </li></ul><ul><li>Replication: Was it reproduced in accordance with professionally recognized standards? </li></ul>
  24. 24. How does the source under study differ from the original? <ul><li>A suggestive list of issues to consider can be found at http://www.library.lafayette.edu/help/primary/evaluating . </li></ul>
  25. 25. Judging reliability and relevance <ul><li>What is the source about? </li></ul><ul><li>When was the source/information created? </li></ul><ul><li>Who created this? Are they an expert on this subject? </li></ul><ul><li>Where is the information coming from experience, eyewitness accounts, or reports written by others? </li></ul><ul><li>Why was it written and how does that affect the information? Who is the intended audience? </li></ul><ul><li>How does the author know the details (names, dates, times)? Was the author present at the event or soon on the scene? </li></ul><ul><li>Are the author's conclusions based on a single piece of evidence, or have many sources been taken into account? </li></ul>For other questions to ask when evaluating your sources look to RUSA’s Evaluating Primary Source Web Sites .
  26. 26. Compare sources from these websites <ul><li>American Memory from The Library of Congress http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/index.html </li></ul><ul><li>The Cold War Museum http://www.coldwar.org/index.html </li></ul>
  27. 27. For additional help <ul><li>Contact us: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>live at the Reference Desk </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>by phone (416-287-7481) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>by email </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>through the UTL chat service (through the &quot; Chat&quot; icon) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sign up for a one-on-one appointment </li></ul>

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