Monday, October 27, 2014

Historical Research: Primary Sources

Thanks to the internet, writers have access to thousands of firsthand accounts and other primary resources that before were only available at colleges, libraries and historical societies. This gives writers a great advantage today. You don’t have to rely on what a history book tells you; you can find facts for yourself, without making a long trip.

What are primary sources?
Primary sources are documents that were written as the events were unfolding, not afterward. Primary or firsthand sources include diaries, letters, speeches and such.

Why use them?
Instead of someone many of years later telling what people thought, felt and did, you can read it for yourself. You might be surprised at some of the things you learn about historical character that you know well. Also, reading primary sources gives you a better understanding of the emotions of the time than a textbook can.

Where can you find them?
As I said, the internet has opened up the many ways of finding them. Type what you are looking for into Google, and you are almost guaranteed to find something. Are you looking for the letters of George Washington, diaries during the Civil War, or an eye witness account of the Boston Tea Party? Type it into your favorite search engine and see what you come up with.
Other good websites to look on are historical societies, colleges, and the Library of Congress.

What are you waiting for? Go dive into the world of primary sources.

Sarah Holman is a not so typical mid-twenties girl: A homeschool graduate, sister to six awesome siblings, and author of five published books and counting. If there is anything adventuresome about her life, it is because she serves a God with a destiny bigger than anything she could have imagined.

1 comment:

  1. I love primary sources! If I'm looking for contemporary sources about a certain location, I find tripadvisor helpful. A lot of times towns have their own websites. And I've found at least one blog about an English village I was researching!


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