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History: Primary Sources

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Parades were a regular occurrence at Schreiner Institute. On Sundays, the students would perform a military parade on the school grounds in their uniforms, but here we see the company officers and sponsors marching ahead of the Schreiner Band as part of a Kerrville holiday parade.

What are Primary Sources?

Primary source materials are first-hand, raw, unfiltered and uniterpreted items that document history, often created around the time an event occured. They can include letters, documents, memoirs, diaries, newspapers, ledgers, photographs, videos, and artifacts.  Historians access and evaluate primary sources to analyze and interpret the past without the "filter" of someone else's interpretation.

Texas History - Primary Sources

US History - Primary Sources

American Memory Historical Collections from the Library of Congress A digital record of American history and creativity. Is a gateway to more than seven million digital items, mostly primary source materials. Includes:

  • A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation Comprises twelve different titles, covering the Continental Congress, the Constitutional Convention, and the 1st through 42nd Federal Congresses, as well as other materials

  • Primary Documents in American History Digital copies of the Federalist Papers, the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and others
  • Frederick Douglas Papers  Papers of the nineteenth-century African-American abolitionist who escaped from slavery and then risked his own freedom by becoming an outspoken antislavery lecturer, writer, and publisher. The papers span the years 1841 to 1964, with the bulk of the material from 1862 to 1895.

Core Documents of U.S. Democracy Supplies American citizens direct access to basic federal government documents that define our democratic society, made available for free, permanent, public access via the GPO Access service.

Documenting the American South  A collection of sources on Southern history, literature, and culture from the colonial period through the first decades of the 20th century.

Historical United States Census Browser  Presents data regarding the people and the economy of the US for each state and county from 1790 to 1960.

Political Cartoons and Presidential Elections, 1860-1912 Offers access to political cartoons found in Harper's Weekly and other leading journals concerning the presidential elections.

Chronicling America Historic American Newspapers Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1922 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present.

What are Secondary Sources?

Secondary sources are interpretations, descriptions, and analyses of evidence provided by primary sources.  Secondary sources are published as books (sometimes called monographs), chapters in books, scholarly journal articles and dissertations.

Find Secondary Sources in Books

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