Posts Tagged ‘historical research’
Secondary sources are those created after an event by people who do not have firsthand knowledge of the event. An example is a newspaper or magazine article, documentary or book written by people who studied primary sources.
Secondary sources can lead researchers to new primary sources, help them form an opinion of an event or person, and outline a story. These sources can help answer questions about a topic which will help a researcher narrow their focus or expand a story.
Here is a great worksheet on analyzing secondary sources.
Where can you find secondary sources? Newspapers. Magazines. Libraries. Scholarly journals. Keep in mind that not all secondary sources are one step away from a primary source. Some are compilations of other secondary sources.
Hey kids, you know what a primary source is now but where can you find primary sources?
- Your home
- Historical Society
- Libraries – research, university, online, and local
- Archives – regional and national
- Special collections at libraries and archives
What is a special collection? It is a collection of rare manuscripts, books and other materials that are stored in special rooms to preserve the materials in a library or archive. These materials do not circulate. This means they remain on-site and users have to ask permission to view and use the materials.
If you live in the Chicago area, there is a fantastic resource listing of places to find primary sources.
So what are you waiting for? Start looking for some primary sources to add depth to your family’s story!
Today we will talk briefly about primary sources. What is a primary source? A piece of evidence from the past that was created during the event. A diary, letter, photograph, newspaper article, and legal documents are all examples of primary sources. A birth certificate is an example of a primary source, although it may contain some secondary source material. More on secondary sources later.
The Chicago Metro History Education Center has a great worksheet on primary sources for kids to use.
Primary sources can help history come alive and should be “listened to” during the research process. Be wary though because not everything you read is the truth. Sometimes the truth is stretched to make an event more exciting. Various pieces of evidence should be consulted while examining a topic before drawing many conclusions and writing your own piece based on the evidence.
There are a few great worksheets available to help guide you through primary source research. These are from an out of print book called A History Handbook for Student Research Projects by Gerald Danzer. I will have to see if I can locate this book through a used book seller. The worksheets are fantastic!
Check back because I will tell you where to find primary sources.
- New handouts such as Primary vs Secondary sources, and MORE! (sullivanlibrary.wordpress.com)
We have spent a lot of time discussing interviews, finding basic sources and what is in those sources, so now let’s talk more in-depth research.
I was writing an article for an online site about National History Day. This I thought, would be a great topic to break out on my kids blog! What is National History Day? It is one day dedicated in the to the study of history. This day goes beyond teaching about names, events, dates, and places. It requires students to dig down deep and examine a specific topic. Many cities and states participate in contests for high school students to present on a historical topic.
Chicago Metro History Fair. Students from high school compete in a junior and senior level for a chance to compete at the state-wide level. Students choose a project (presentation, website, living history demonstration, or article) based on the current year’s theme. In 2011, the theme is Debate and Diplomacy: Successes, Failures, and Consequences. Prior years’ themes have included Family, Revolution, Communication, Geography, and Rights and Responsibilities.is one of those cities that participates in a
Take a look at Chicago’s Metro History Fair page to see what it is all about. Over the next few weeks we will explore some of the research procedures the students learn that are also the same procedures genealogists and family historians use!
Does your school participate in National History Day? If it does, tell us about it!