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History 280 - Primary Sources: Home

Research Appointment

If you need any assistance on your research, such as formulating a research question or locating sources, please feel free to contact me.  

My office is in the Archives and Special Collections on the lower level of the James A. Michener Library.  The Archives and Special Collections are open 9-5, Monday - Friday or by appointment.  Please give me a call or send me an e-mail to set up a time to meet to make sure I am available.  I am very happy to meet with you!

History Librarian and Archivist

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Jay Trask
James A. Michener Library, Room 119



Welcome to the library guide for History 280.

This guide is designed to highlight a few resources to begin your search for primary sources. The UNC Libraries offers numerous resources including monographs, journals and electronic databases. There are a number of digital primary source collections available throughout the region and the world.

Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Sources

  Primary Secondary Tertiary
Definition Original documents created or experienced concurrently with the event being researched and firsthand accounts Works that analyze, assess, or interpret a historical event, era, or phenomenon. Sources that identify, locate, and synthesize primary AND secondary sources
Characteristics Firsthand observations, contemporary accounts of the event. Viewpoint of the time Interpretation of information, usually written well after an event. Offers reviews or critiques Reference works, collections of lists of primary and secondary sources, finding tools for sources
Examples Interviews, news footage, data sets, original research, speeches, diaries, letters, creative works, photographs Research studies, literary criticism, book reviews, journal articles, biographies, textbooks  Encyclopedias, bibliographies, dictionaries, manuals, fact books