Last Updated: Nov 15, 2016
Primary sources were either created during the time period being studied or were created at a later date by a participant in the events being studied (as in the case of memoirs). They reflect the individual viewpoint of a participant or observer. Primary sources enable the researcher to get as close as possible to what actually happened during an historical event or time period. (Source: Berkeley, UC, Library)
A secondary source is a work that interprets or analyzes an historical event or phenomenon. It is generally at least one step removed from the event is often based on primary sources. Examples include: scholarly or popular books and articles, reference books, and textbooks. (Source: Berkeley, UC, Library)
All eBooks are searchable through our Destiny Catalog.
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With more than a thousand academic journals and over 1 million images, letters, and other primary sources, JSTOR is one of the world's most trusted sources for academic content.
- EBSCO Academic Search Premier
Academic Search Premier is your go-to database to search for articles in journals, magazines, newspapers, and other publications.
- Gale: U.S. History in Context
Includes a broad collection of full-text periodicals, reference works, primary documents, and scholarly analysis.
- Gale Virtual Reference Library
Use the GVRL eBooks to start exploring information on your topic. Many articles contain bibliographies with scholarly articles.
- Gale: Biography in Context
A comprehensive database covering a vast array of people from historically significant figures to present-day newsmakers, it’s continuously updated to ensure that students have access to the very latest information.
- NY Times Historical Newspaper
Search for articles from 1850 to the present
- History Reference Center
Search all Facts on File databases at once.
- American History Online - Facts on File
Thank you to Vanderbilt University's Peabody Library for this excellent video illustrating the differences among scholarly journals and other periodical types.
First time users must register for an account IN SCHOOL. Use your school email address/password to register.
Reading Academic Journals
This site from SUNY Brockport summarizes the parts of an academic article and discusses how to read one.
Based on a list compiled by Finding Dulcinea Staff.
See "101 Great Sites for Social Studies Class"
- Library of Congress
is a great source to find historical documents, photos, art, maps, audio and video, artifacts and other items. The American Memory section organizes items based on topics, time periods and places of American history. The World Digital Library, a cooperative project with UNESCO, includes rare documents from around the world.
- National Archives
has a massive collection of material on U.S. history that can sometimes be overwhelming to search through. The Resources for National History Day Research page guides students on where to find material in the archives.
has a wide range of resources for students from its various programs. The most useful is likely the companion Web sites for the American Experience documentary series examining important events and people in American history. Each site includes resources such as descriptions of the events, biographies of key figures, primary source documents, interactive maps and transcripts of the film. Also visit the American Masters series for biographies of historical figures.
The Best of Humanities on the Web
- Smithsonian Institution
has a wide variety of exhibitions and collections on American history and culture. It also offers lesson plans searchable by grade level, type of resource and historical topic.