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Primary vs. Secondary vs. Tertiary Sources
The linked PDF handout above shows the differences between primary and secondary sources with tips for finding primary sources in the Ort Library.
The University of Saskatchewan also describes primary, secondary, and tertiary sources at How to Evaluate Information Sources.
Evaluating Web Resources
Click here for valuable criteria to use when evaluating Web resources.
Additionally, the CARS checklist in the handout below can help you evaluate print or Web information for Credibility, Accuracy, Reasonableness, and Support:
Links for Chicago Citation Style
Primary Sources on the Web
You may want to use web resources for your historical research and there are many good sites that are reliable that you can use, even for primary sources.
Try some of the tips and tools at the site Using Primary Sources on the Web provided by the American Library Association's Reference and User Services Association. It's a good place to start!.
A Sampling of Authoritative Web Resources
American Memory Project
It is a digital record of American history and creativity. It provides open access through the Internet to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience.
American Presidency Project
A searchable database of the papers of the Presidents from Washington to Trump.
Avalon Project: Documents in Law, History, Diplomacy
The Avalon Project includes digitized documents relevant to the fields of Law, History, Economics,Politics, Diplomacy and Government going back to ancient times.
The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed
an online reference center with a wealth of materials on African American history in one central location. on the Internet. Materials include an online encyclopedia of over 1,500 entries, complete transcripts of over 125 speeches given between 1789 and 2008, over 100 full text primary documents, bibliographies, timelines and four gateway pages with links to 50 digital archive collections.
Documenting the American South
Documenting the American South (DocSouth) is a digital publishing initiative that provides Internet access to texts, images, and audio files related to southern history, literature, and culture. Currently DocSouth includes sixteen thematic collections of books, diaries, posters, artifacts, letters, oral history interviews, and songs.
Links to European primary historical documents that are transcribed, reproduced in facsimile, or translated. They shed light on key historical happenings within the respective countries and within the broadest sense of political, economic, social and cultural history.
Explore 51,533,591 artworks, artifacts, books, videos and sounds from across Europe
Finding World History
Explore history sites by world region or time period.
Making of America (Civil War primary sources)
A digital library of primary sources in American social history primarily from the antebellum period through reconstruction.
National Archives and Records Administration
Here are the vast databases and catalogs of the National Archives, with links to many online documentary records at other sites. However, only a fraction of the Archives’ records are available online.
Primary Documents in American History (1763-1877)
This Web site provides links to materials digitized from the collections of the Library of Congress that supplement and enhance the study of these crucial documents.
World History Sources - Africa
A webliography of online history and primary sources from Africa.
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