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HY 449: Disasters in American History: Finding Primary Sources

Primary Resources

Primary Research via Open Web

The internet can be too much of a good thing.  When searching for primary sources, keep a few key things in mind.

  • Evaluate the source - always evaluate the site for authority, accuracy, objectivity, and currency to make sure the information at the site can be validated.
  • If searching in Google, be sure to narrow your search by domain (to weed out the commercial sites)
    • Going to the "advanced" search option in Google gives you the opportunity to choose your domain
    • .edu = education (universities, etc)
    • .org = Non-profit organizations (remember, this is a tax designation)
    • .gov = US government agency sites
  • When looking for primary docs, almost anything is better than HTML. Finding the digitized original copy of the document, picture, etc is much better than finding an html document that someone merely typed in. While html is better than nothing, it's always best to try to find the original so that you can check for accuracy.

Historical Newspaper Sources

The following is merely a small sampling of the newspapers available to you either through library subscriptions or openly available through the Web. New digitized collections are popping up all the time, so please check back from time to time to see if any have been added. If you have any questions about particular newspapers, please don't hesitate to ask.

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