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HY 101: Western Civilization to 1648


Welcome! This course guide should provide some resources that will help you complete your research assignments for HY 101.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email me or schedule an in-person or virtual appointment (the appointment scheduler is located under my picture, right below the "email me" button). 

What are Primary Sources?

An image from the "Domesday Book," the survey of English land and landholdings commissioned by William I in 1086.

An image from the "Domesday Book," a survey of English land and landholdings commissioned by William I in 1086

Primary Sources are original sources: they were created by someone who participated in or observed an event.  They include diaries, letters, newspapers, government documents, photographs, and other manuscripts.

Resources for finding and accessing primary sources are below: 

Primary Source Databases/Websites

Primary Sources: Books

Books written during (or shortly after) the time period can often be great examples of primary sources, especially when it comes to ancient history.

Because these books are so old, they are often freely available on the internet.


Primary Sources on Google

Google is becoming a really great place to find primary sources. The key to finding them is how you construct your search. 

You'll always want to add a keyword to the end of your search that will help you find primary sources specifically. Examples of those terms are: "primary sources," documents, archives, correspondence, images, texts, writings, works, etc. 

A few example searches: 

The battle of thermopylae "primary sources" 

The Trojan War documents 

You can also add to the end of any search in order to make sure you only bring back .edu sites. That can help with weeding out potentially unreliable sites. 

The battle of thermopylae documents


What are Secondary Sources?

Secondary Sources are secondhand sources.  They were created by historians who drew their information from primary sources.  The most typical types of secondary sources are books and academic journal articles. 

Resources for finding and accessing secondary sources are below: 

Secondary Sources

Citation Help

The Following can help you format and manage your citations in Chicago Style: 

Many databases have a "Cite This" button, but always double check your citation list against the appropriate style manual. Using computer tools can save a lot of time, but there can be small errors. 

Citation Tools

Use Citation Software like RefWorks and Zotero to Manage a Large Number of Citations