Primary vs. Secondary Sources
|Primary Source||Secondary Source|
|Literature||“Song of Myself” (Poem)||Journal article about the poem’s historical importance|
|Psychology||Results of clinical trial to treat ADD by modifying diet||Book about ways to treat childhood ADD without drugs|
|Politics and Government||U.S. Census Statistics||Book about suburban population changes in U.S.|
|History||Recorded interview with Choctaw American Indian||Journal article about Native Americans who served in WWII|
|Social Science||Diary of Anne Frank||Book about diaries kept during the Holocaust|
|Art||Photographs by Diane Arbus||Magazine article about 20th century female photographers|
Websites of Primary Resources
The Library of Congress American Memory Project
AMP is a rich, searchable database of written and spoken words, sound recordings, still
and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience.
The Historical Text Archive
HTA is a well-designed, searchable database with three sections: full-text articles
(also includes essays and photographs), ebooks, and links to other digitized primary resources.
Digital Collections: Michigan State U. Libraries and Digital & Multimedia Center
DC is a collaborative, ongoing project to digitize selected materials from MSU Libraries’
Special Collections. Browsable collections include Africana, American Radicalism, Applied and
Life Sciences, and History and Social Sciences.
Repositories of Primary Sources
A directory of over 5,000 websites describing holdings of manuscripts, archives, rare books,
historical photographs, and other primary sources for the advanced research scholar. Includes links to libraries and other
institutions with digitized primary resources.
Using Primary Sources on the Web
A brief guide to evaluating primary internet resources with excellent examples of specific documents
and image files.
By Susan Thomas, Evening and Weekend Librarian (firstname.lastname@example.org )