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Resources for history coursework and research.

Find Sources

Written by scholars or experts in the field. Scholarly articles, also called academic articles, can be found using databases and cover a wide range of topics and can either be original research or analysis of an issue or topic.

Features of Scholarly Sources

  • Usually take the form of books or journal articles.
  • Often peer-reviewed.
  • Generally, present in-depth analysis or summaries of a topic.

Finding Scholarly Sources:

What is a Primary Source?

Primary sources of materials are integral in the study of history. Most primary sources are created at the time an historical event occurred, while others, such as autobiographies, are produced long after the events they describe. Among the many types of materials that may be primary sources are: letters, diaries, speeches, newspaper articles, autobiographies, oral histories, government and organizational records, statistical data, maps, photographs, motion pictures, sound recordings, advertisements, and artifacts. The creators were present during an experience or time period and offer an inside view of a particular event. Some types of primary sources include:

  • Original documents: diaries, speeches, manuscripts, letters, interviews, news film footage, autobiographies, official records
  • Creative works: poetry, drama, novels, music, art
  • Relics or artifacts: pottery, furniture, clothing, buildings

Primary Sources at UIS

Since a primary source can be almost anything, it can make locating them difficult.  Often times the best place to start is with a citation from a secondary source. However, Brookens Library maintains a number of resources that contain primary sources:

Additional Assistance

The list above only covers a small fraction of the primary sources the Library can provide access to.  There are many more options in the the Database A-Z list as well as the Library catalog and the general internet.

If you need additional assistance, contact a Librarian or your professor.

This video is a brief introduction to the scholarly and popular sources you will come across while researching. What are they and how do you know what to use for your assignment?

You can search the library website for books and other materials and request them for pick up at the library. UIS Library is also a member of I-Share, which means our students can access materials available at other Illinois colleges and universities. Watch this short video to learn more about how to search and request materials.

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