Technology and Society from 1865 to Present

Technology and Society from 1865 to Present

What is a primary source? It can be defined as anything created by someone
involved in an event, about the event. For example, it could be a diary or a
picture. The following URLs will take you to places on the web that discuss
primary sources:

• "Identifying Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Sources." William Madison
Randall Library at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington

• "Using Primary Sources on the Web." American Library Association’s Reference
and User Services Association
Note that, with the current technology, primary sources can be digitized and
presented on the web for viewing and analysis. And while there is no substitute
to holding the actual source and studying it, we cannot always make the trips
required to view and study them. So having digital copies becomes a helpful
means of viewing primary sources.

The National Archives has created document analysis worksheets to help you work
with primary sources. They are available online at

Copies of these worksheets are also available in the Course Content area of
your WebTycho classroom and in the conference set up for practice in using them.

The worksheets consist of a combination of checklists and short-answer
questions that will help you focus on the most important elements of different
historical documents. You will use the information you gather on the worksheets
to report on your primary sources.

Find three primary sources (any type for which there is an analysis worksheet)
on your chosen topic. Your textbook can give you a good start, either with
reproductions of such sources or reference information to help you locate a
given source. There are also a number of websites such as those of the Library
of Congress and the National Archives that contain digitized copies of primary

In addition, Google Book Search has digitized thousands of older books and
magazines that would make good primary sources, and The New York Times archives
search includes many free articles written between 1851 and the early 1920s.
Check the UMUC Information and Library Services databases in the library’s
Guide to History Resources: Click on the
Primary Source" tab along the upper part of the screen.

For each primary source you find, create a separate entry that includes all of
the following information:

• a full citation (as you would put in the bibliography) for where you found
the item (remember to use Turabian/Chicago style)

• the type of primary source (e.g., written document, cartoon, photograph, and
so on)

• a summary of the information based on the information collected using the
primary analysis worksheet

• an explanation of how the item pertains to your topic