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The Hulbert Taft, Jr. Library


AP U.S. History: 1877-1941: Primary Sources

Primary Source

Primary Sources

Sources created by those who lived it

Any document, image, or artifact created at the time of the topic being researched is a primary source. Examples include: eyewitness accounts, autobiographies and memoirs, diaries, letters, speeches, reports, newspapers, household and day-to-day objects, clothing, works of art, architecture, and photographs.

Please note: primary source documents are a reflection of the time and culture in which they were created and may contain language or images that are considered offensive today.

 

Tips for Citing Primary Sources in NoodleTools

If you have any questions,
see Mr. Padgett, Ms. Taylor, or Mr. Previti
OR email us at 
spadgett@taftschool.org  
  taylorp@taftschool.org
rpreviti@taftschool.org
We're here to help!

Find Primary Source Using Advanced Search in RhinoCat

RhinoCat is the Library's automated catalog of books, ebooks, and other library materials.

Do an Advanced Search in Rhinocat to identify library books and ebooks containing primary sources using these steps: 

  • In the first Advanced Search line change Keyword to Subject and paste in (sources OR diaries OR narratives) including parentheses ( )
  • In the second Keyword search line, substitute your search term for xxxxx.

    • If your keyword term is a phrase such as Berlin Wall, use quotation marks around the phrase: "Berlin Wall"

Original Primary Source Magazines in the Library

The Library has the following original journals shelved at the end of the Reference collection

Thank you for handling these fragile bound volumes with care! Want a copy of an article or advertisement? Please take a picture or scan the image using your smartphone.

Statistics and Polls

The Gallup Poll: Public Opinion, 1935-2010. Ref HN90 .P8 G35 - HN90 .P8 G35  20 vols

Historical Statistics of the United States: From Earliest Times to the Present [colonial times to 1970]. eBook on the U.S. Census website.

Presidential Elections, 1789-2004. Ref JK524 .P6783 2005 

Public Opinion, 1935-1946 / edited by Hadley Cantril. eBook on the website, Internet Archive.

This is Who We Were Decades series. "Each volume combines census and other government data with personal narrative, advertisements, clippings, and so forth to provide a portrait of a decade" (Library Journal). Volumes cover decades from 1880 - 2010; the volume for the 1930s is titled A companion to the 1940 census

Vital Statistics on the Presidency: Washington to Clinton. Ref JK518 .R34 1996.

Find Primary Sources on the Internet

Find Primary Sources in Online Subscription Databases

Important tips for searching for primary sources in historical news / periodical databases:
  • Always limit your search to the date range relevant to your topic.
  • Try searching terms, phrases, etc. that were commonly used at the time in relation to your topic.
  • Look for document-type limiters that may improve your results, such as article, commentary, editorial, front page / cover story, letter to the editor, etc
Resource Allows NoodleTools Export  Citations can be exported from this source to NoodleTools.

 

 

History Databases Also Containing Primary Sources

Find Primary Sources on the Internet

TO SEARCH GOOGLE: Combine your topic search term(s) with the phrase documents OR "primary sources" 
Google Web Search

Tips for Citing Primary Sources in NoodleTools


CITING PRIMARY SOURCES IN NOODLETOOLS

 
PLEASE NOTE: Do not copy and paste complete citations from electronic sources. NoodleTools cannot generate footnotes from copied and pasted citations.

 

To cite a Primary Source, first choose the NoodleTools option that best describes where you found it:

  • Database = an electronic source found in a Taft Subscription Database such as Gale eBooks.
    • You can export citations from many of our databases. Look for Resource Allows NoodleTools Export  next to the database name.
    • If you find a document in a Taft Subscription Database that doesn't have the export feature, you will need to create an original citation.
    • You must provide the permanent URL for your source. Look for any of the following on the page: permalink, persistent link, stable link, durable link, "Get link", Cite, Citable Link. 
  • Website = a document found on the Websites page of the course guide, found through a web directory like SweetSearch, or a search engine such as Google. 

  • Print or In Hand = a document found in a book in the library. For example: in a reference book or a secondary source.

Next, determine what kind of primary source you are citing:

  • Look at the list of options in NoodleTools. Is it a newspaper article, a speech, a letter, or another item listed? If so, choose that item type.
  • If you are not sure, you can use Anthology / Collection which enables you to cite a source found within another source.
You can also see (or email) Mr. Padgett, Ms. Taylor, or Mr. Previti and we'll help you figure it out.