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Historical Methods: Home

Welcome to Historical Methods

Welcome to the research guide for Historical Methods! On this guide, you will find information that will help you: 

1. Differentiate between primary and secondary sources

2. Locate a variety of primary sources

3. Cite your sources according to the Chicago Manual of Style

4. Present your research in a professional setting

Choosing a Topic

Things to remember when choosing your topic:

  • Primary source material is being digitized and made available online; however, most of these resources from the past are still only available in print in Archives.
  • Primary documents on non-American topics may be more difficult to find and may not have been translated into English.
  • You may want to do a topic involving the common people, but you will probably be able to find more documents written by the “famous” of your time period.
  • It is very difficult to do an entire paper using only primary sources, since those sources tend to be very narrow and specific in scope.
  • Using primary sources is more time-consuming.
  • You may find that primary sources on your first choice of topic are not available locally.

Primary Sources

Office for Emergency Management. Office of War Information. Domestic Operations Branch. Bureau of Special Services. Careless Talk Costs Lives. National Archives.

Scarf, Jacqmar. Switch Off That Light Darling, Imperial War Museum,

Men and children at a bottle factory, Seven Settlement Houses-Database of Photos (University of Illinois at Chicago), University of Illinois at Chicago. Library. Special Collections and University Archives

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. "Christopher Columbus." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 19, 2019.

Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library. "Letter to Alexander Hamilton, New York" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 19, 2019.

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Kristen Bailey
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Subjects: History

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