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HIS385: Advanced Historical Practice (Spring 2016): Home

Guide for Ryan Alexander's HIS385, spring 2016

Finding Primary Sources

For your final paper in HIS385, you're going to use primary sources about a particular revolution. There are a lot of these documents scattered around the internet; you just have to know how to find them. 

Once you know the revolution you're researching, and perhaps have some names or terms that you're interested in, you can combine those keywords in a Google search. And you can add some synonyms for "primary source." Words like "primary source" and "document" and "archive" will increase the chance you'll get historical sources.

For example, search Google for "russian revolution" AND ("primary source" OR document OR archive)

Here's a link to the results page from that search.

You can see that many of the search results are from university or government sites that have compiled resources, including primary sources, on the Russian revolution. These are the sites you should be exploring as you do research for your papers.

To further narrow down the results to only those at US educational sites, you can also add AND to your Google search. But if you only search .edu sites you may miss important results from other countries or United States historical societies, so try searches with and without

As you read, keep your topic, including your geographical region and time period, in mind. You don't want to spend all your time with documents from other eras.

On the other pages in the guide you'll find a few sites to start you off. But there are many, many more out there waiting to be found!

Scan Pages for Free on the Feinberg Library KIC!

Feinberg's Knowledge Imaging Center (KIC) will super-save your time. This service enables you to scan documents at high speed, without damage, and save them in a variety of electronic formats. What's more, it's free!

Designed especially for university libraries, the KIC kiosk is a walk-up color digitization scanning system for excerpts from books and other materials up to 24 x 17 inches. Save your scans to your USB flash drive or e-mail them directly to the account of your choosing. Find the KIC units on the first and second levels of Feinberg Library.

Make an Appointment with a Feinberg Librarian