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The Critical Analysis Using Primary Sources

Essay on a leader who made a difference in our world

What are Primary Sources?

  • Original documents such as diaries, speeches, manuscripts, letters, interviews, records, eyewitness accounts, autobiographies, and memoirs.
  • Creative works such as poetry, music, video, photography.
  • Empirical scholarly works such as research articles, clinical reports, case studies, dissertations.

Library Databases

  • Biography Reference Center 
    A easy-to-use database of over 460,000 full-text biographies. In addition to standard search by name or occupation, the database allows for browsing by categories including actors, authors, composers, explorers, figures relevant to U.S. & world history, inventors, musicians, Presidents of the United States, or current world leaders.
  • Academic Search Complete

    scholarly and popular articles on all the major subjects

  • Gale EBooks: Biography

  • HeinOnline: An interdisciplinary law database which contains journals, books, and primary source documents on a variety of subjects, including human rights, animal rights, political science, history, women's studies, election law, civil rights, foreign relations, business law, and many other current social justice issues.

  • New York Times Historical : from 1851 to 4 years ago

Internet Resources

  • America's Story from America's Library: Meet Amazing Americans
  • Library of Congress: Primary Sources and Analysis Tool
  • Primary Source Sets: Digital Public Library of America
    Primary source collections exploring topics in history, literature, and culture developed by educators
  • Library of Congress Digital Collection
  • Making of America: Digital library of primary sources in American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction. The collection is particularly strong in the subject areas of education, psychology, American history, sociology, religion, and science and technology. The collection is split on two sites; The University of Michigan's materials may be searched independently at Making of America. While new materials are not being added, the existing digital items continue to be freely available. Cornell University's collections are now available through the HathiTrust; no subscription is needed to see the MoA material on the Hathi site.