DIV 6708: History of Global Christianities II (Spring 2020)

What is a source?

Primary sources originate in the time period that historians are studying. They vary a great deal. They may include personal memiors, goverment documents, transcriptions of legal proceedings, oral histories and traditions, archeaeological and biological evidence, visual sources like paintings and photographs.

William Kelleher Storey, Writing History: A Guide for Students (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004), p. 18.

Secondary works reflect on earlier times. Typically, they are books and articles by writers who are interpreting the events and primary sources [and other secondary sources] you are studying.

William Kelleher Storey, Writing History: A Guide for Students (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004), p. 18.

Reference material that summarizes and condenses the information found in primary and secondary sources.  (e.g., frequently almanacs, bibliographies, chronologies; dictionaries and encyclopedias, textbooks)

Christine Bombaro, Finding History: Research Methods and Resources for Students and Scholars (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2012), p. 57

In some cases the distinction between primary and secondary source works may be confusing. If you are writing about historical writers, you may find yourself using a secondary work as a primary source. For example, during the 1840s and 1850s Thomas Macaulay wrote The History of England. His book describes the origins and outcome of England's Glorious Revolution of 1688. For historians of seventeenth-century England, Macaulay's book is a classic secondary work. But for historians of Victorian Britian [c. 1837-1901], The History of England is a rich primary source that tells historians a great deal about intellectual life in the 1840s and 1850s.

William Kelleher Storey, Writing History: A Guide for Students (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004), p. 19.

Getting Started with Primary Sources

Digital facsimile images of both full pages and clipped articles for 19th century US newspapers. For each issue, the newspaper is captured from cover-to-cover, providing access to every article, advertisement and illustration.
  • Restricted to the Vanderbilt Community
African American Newspapers; The Charleston Mercury; Chester & Delaware Federalist; The Christian Recorder; The Civil War Part I. A Newspaper Perspective; The Colored American; Delaware County American; Delaware County Republican; Frederick Douglass Paper; Douglass Monthly; Freedom's Journal; Media Advertiser; The National Era; The New York Herald; The North Star; The Pennsylvania Gazette; The Pennsylvania Genealogical Catalog [collection]; Pennsylvania Newspaper Record; The Pennsylvania Packet; Porcupines Gazette; Provincial Freeman; Richmond Enquirer; The Upland Union; Village Record; Weekly Advocate.

African American Newspapers (ProQuest) This link opens in a new window Restricted to the Vanderbilt Community

Primary source material for the study of American history and African-American culture, history, politics, and the arts. Includes: Atlanta Daily World (1931-2003), Baltimore Afro-American (1893-1988), Chicago Defender (1909-1975), New York Amsterdam News (1922-1993), Los Angeles Sentinel (1934-2005), Norfolk Journal and Guide (1916-2003), The Philadelphia Tribune (1912-2001), and Pittsburgh Courier (1911-2002)
  • Restricted to the Vanderbilt Community
Historical access to the following newspapers: Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta Daily World, The Baltimore Afro-American, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Defender, The Christian Science Monitor, Chicago Tribune, The Cincinnati Enquirer, Detroit Free Press, The Globe and Mail, Hartford Courant, The Jerusalem Post, The Jewish Advocate, The Jewish Exponent, Los Angeles Sentinel, Los Angeles Times, Louisville Courier Journal, New York Amsterdam News, The New York Times, New York Tribune, Norfolk Journal & Guide, The Philadelphia Tribune, Pittsburgh Courier, San Francisco Chronicle, South China Morning Post, St. Louis Post Dispatch, The Tennessean, The Times of India, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.

Newspapers, magazines, reports, and annuals from various African American organizations including churches and educational and service institutions.

American Periodicals This link opens in a new window Restricted to the Vanderbilt Community

Special interest and general magazines, literary and professional journals, children's and women's magazines and many other historically-significant periodicals. Includes Ladies' Home Journal, Harper's, and professional journals.
Contains scanned images of Harper's Weekly Magazine 1857-1912, with full indexing. Includes all illustrations, cartoons, news, literature, editorials, and advertisements.
Books, pamphlets, serials and other works about the Americas, through the early 1900s. Original accounts of exploration, trade, colonialism, slavery and abolition, the western movement, Native Americans, military actions, etc.
Women’s interest consumer magazines with detailed article-level indexing. Includes Better Homes and Gardens, Chatelaine, Cosmopolitan, Essence, Good Housekeeping, Ladies' Home Journal, Parents, Redbook, Seventeen, WIN News, and Woman's Day.

Library of Congress Digital Collection

An easily searchable database of images, prints, maps, among other document types containing all the Library of Congress's available digital collections

American Memory (Library of Congress)

Provides free and open access through the Internet to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience.

New York Public Library Digital Collections

Provides free and open access to over 800,000 images digitized from the The New York Public Library's vast collections, including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints, photographs and more