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History 381: Secondary Sources

From Civil Rights to Black Power
Professor: Leslie Brown
Fall 2014

What are Secondary Sources?

Secondary sources interpret or analyze primary sources. Thus, they are a step removed from the event or original text. Examples of secondary sources include:

  • Articles from journals
  • Articles from magazines
  • Articles from edited collections
  • Biographies
  • Book reviews
  • Documentary films
  • Essays in anthologies
  • Literary criticism
  • Popular press books
  • Scholarly books

How you use a source determines whether it is a primary source or secondary source. If you are analyzing a magazine article from the 1940s to talk about what life was like during that time period, it is a primary source. However, if you are citing information from a magazine article written today about the 1940s, then it is a secondary source.

History Librarian

Lori DuBois's picture
Lori DuBois
Contact:
Sawyer Library
Research Services, Room 347B
413-597-4614
ldubois@williams.edu
Pronouns: she/her/hers