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Hist 214: American Culture Wars (Gollner Spring 2019)

Primary versus Secondary Sources

Generally primary sources are works that are generated at the time or by the person directly being studied. Examples include (but aren't limited too):

  • oral histories

  • legal testimony

  • truth and reconciliation hearings

  • art collections

  • clubs or associations dedicated to remembering

  • public inscriptions

  • public memorials to past events/people

  • victim testimonies

  • historical autobiographies or memoirs

  • photography

  • museum exhibits

  • letters

  • scientific study of historical trauma or memory

  • family histories

  • local histories

Secondary sources are generally produced by other scholars who have studied the event or person you are interested. Generally these include books and articles. The papers that you write for this class will be secondary sources that will help future scholars interested in the same topic you will write about.