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Finding the Visual History of the 1960s

This guide was created as a supplement to the 2014 library exhibition Conflict and Counterculture: Finding the Visual History of the Sixties.

What are Primary Sources?







"Primary sources are original records created at the time historical events occurred or well after events in the form of memoirs and oral histories. Primary sources may include letters, manuscripts, diaries, journals, newspapers, speeches, interviews, memoirs, documents produced by government agencies such as Congress or the Office of the President, photographs, audio recordings, moving pictures or video recordings, research data, and objects or artifacts such as works of art or ancient roads, buildings, tools, and weapons. These sources serve as the raw material to interpret the past, and when they are used along with previous interpretations by historians, they provide the resources necessary for historical research." This definition come from the American Library Association's site: Using Primary Sources on the Web . This is a great site to check to help you evaluate whether the information you find is a primary or a secondary source.

Interactive Exercises Online

Explore the online exercises below to learn more about primary sources and analyzing historic evidence...

Searching for Primary Sources in the Catalog

When searching for primary sources in the Library Catalog, one good trick is to add the term Sources to the search

Thus:  Civil rights movements -- United States -- History -- 20th century -- Sources