How to Find Primary Sources for Your History Essayby Samantha Smiles
Most students get depressed when assigned a history essay. Writing an essay, in particular, history essay writing is terrible, and when it comes to finding proper sources, students use the first sources which come. There are some history essay tips which will help you to find appropriate primary sources for your history paper.
What is a primary source?
Certainly, you need to use the primary sources to provide the arguments for your history paper. The primary sources imply original documents from the time you are researching. Artifacts are known to be the most remarkable primary sources, but they are not the only ones. The memories, manuscripts, interviews, autobiographies, letters, speeches, the works of art (visual and musical), even advertisements are all the primary sources. The primary sources are important because they are the evidence of the ideas and thoughts of the research period.
Where to find primary sources?
You can find the primary sources for your history essay at the National Archives or the Library of Congress. These two are federal government sites so that you can be sure about the reliability of the found sources. Apparently, thanks to the digitization of the materials, many primary sources can be reached online which facilitates a search process for many students significantly. Check the other government sites, to find necessary primary sources for your essay. You will most probably find the sources you are seeking because these are the national websites. To find some articles from the old papers, check the article and newspaper databases.
Museums and websites
What about museums? Nowadays, the museums have their websites, so you can easily download an image of art or any other original document. You can browse the internet the same pictures that you could browse through a museum`s website, but it is highly recommended that you mind the authority of the source you scan a document. There are many large museums websites which are absolutely accessible for public use. Next time when you need to browse an image of art, use relative use museums' websites.
College library is a good option
You know that your college or university library can offer you a number of primary sources? This is the first source most students rely on first. If you need to find the old papers` articles, university library can offer you these primary sources. Moreover, at your college or university library, you can find films and photographs from the researching period. The public libraries should also be included in this list. The public libraries possess a larger amount of primary sources for your history paper. Have you heard about the interlibrary loan? University library just like reliable public libraries has a website. The access to many of them can be easily reached. Surely, if you want, you can visit a public library in person whenever you need time. If you are assigned to prepare a history paper on a local history issue, you won`t find the better place than the local society archives. The local archives are full of primary sources on local history. Consider this next time you get the task to write on the local history issue.
Actually, due to the digitization of the information, you can easily get access to almost any type of the primary sources. Anyway, these primary sources resources are accessible and provide a substantial number of the primary resources for your history essay.