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ACP US History student resources

This guide has some selected resources and video tutorial guidance for locating primary and secondary resources.

Where do I look?

The resources listed below are great for introductory historical research. Because ACP students may be enrolled through a variety of campuses, and some students in the course may not be enrolled with IU at all, the resources below contain access notes and limitations. Open web resources are freely available on the internet.

Suggested newspaper databases:

Suggested databases to locate general primary and secondary resources such as journal articles, diaries, government documents, pamphlets, photographs, artwork, and maps:

IUCAT is the IU Libraries' catalog, and it is great for locating ebooks.

Defining primary and secondary sources

Primary Sources provide direct or first-hand evidence about an event, object, person or work of art.

  • Usually contemporary to the events and people described
  • May be written and non-written
  • Examples include:
    • diaries
    • works of art and literature
    • speeches
    • audio and video recordings
    • photographs and posters
    • newspaper ads and stories
    • laws and legislative hearings
    • plant and animal specimens
    • original research studies

Secondary Sources lack the immediacy of a primary record.

  • Produced sometime after an event happened
  • Contain information that has been interpreted, analyzed or processed
  • Often based on primary sources
  • Examples:
    • history textbooks
    • interpretive journal articles
    • book reviews