Primary sources were either created during the time period being studied or were created at a later date by a participant in the events being studied (ex: memoirs). They reflect the individual viewpoint of a participant or observer. Primary sources enable the researcher to get as close as possible to what actually happened during a historical event or time period.
A secondary source is a work that interprets or analyzes a historical event or phenomenon. It is generally at least one step removed from the event and is often based on primary sources. --- Definitions courtesy of UC Berkeley.
Note: In the humanities, age is an important factor in determining whether an article is a primary or secondary source. For example, a recently-published journal or newspaper article on the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court case would be read as a secondary source because the author is interpreting a historical event. However, an article on the case that was published in 1955 could be read as a primary source that reveals how writers were interpreting the decision immediately after it was handed down. -- Ithaca College Library - Primary and Secondary sources
African American Newspapers
Excellent collection of American Jewish Newspapers from Proquest.
To learn about your newspaper, try reference databases like Credo Reference Unlimited and Oxford African American Studies Center.
Try searching by:
Credo Ready-Reference services feature full-text, aggregated content from hundreds of reference books covering every major subject.
Another useful reference database.
Core texts includes: Africana, The Encyclopedia of African American History; Black Women in America, and The African American National Biography. In addition, the site includes over 300 carefully edited primary source documents with commentaries, approximately 2,300 images and over 300 charts, tables, graphs, maps, and timelines. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., editor-in-chief. **If you have problems logging into OAASC, try using Oxford Reference Online. It contains many of the same core encyclopedias on African American History.
Ulrichsweb provides factual information about periodicals such as start year, title change information, and place of publication.
Successor to the renowned Dictionary of American Biography, the ANB is a premier source of biographical information on over 18,000 people from all eras who have influenced and shaped American history and culture.
If you do not find information about your newspaper in one of the databases above, the following print resources may be helpful:
A Reference Guide to Afro-American Publications and Editors: 1827-1946 (great source!)
By Vilma Raskin Potter
REFERENCE Z6944 N39P63 1993
Newspaper titles, places of publication, and founding dates are provided. Introductory chapters also provide good background information on the original list of presses developed by Warren Henry Brown as well as African American women journalists.
Biblographic Checklist of African American Newspapers (great source!)
By Barbara K. Henritze
On page xxviii, see the list of African American Newspapers published by individual states to gain a perspective on the range of African American newspapers that have been in publication from the 1800s - 1995 (5,539 as of 1995). The checklist includes publication titles, city and state of publication, frequency, years of publication, and citations to sources in which these papers were mentioned. Source codes are indexed in Appendix A.
Ethnic Periodicals in Contemporary America: An Annotated Guide (great source!)
Compiled by Sandra L. Jones Ireland
REFERENCE Z6953.5 A1 I74 1990
290 ethnic interest United States-published periodicals are profiled here. Newspapers, magazines, bulletins, newsletters, and journals are listed. A wide range of ethnicities and languages are included. Covers early 20th Century - 1990.
The Standard Periodical Directory: 26th edition, 2013
REFERENCE Z6951 .S78 V.36 2013
On page 669, a listing of basic factual information for General Ethnic Periodicals in publication in the United States and Canada begins. Periodicals are listed by subject and also alphabetically. For specific ethnic newspapers, use the index at the back of the book to locate page numbers of listings. Earlier years are in the stacks and in storage.
Ulrichs Periodicals Directory, 2014
REFERENCE Z6941 .U4 52nd ed. Volume 2 (There are 4 volumes)
On page 3352 of volume 2, a listing of basic factual information for International, including the U.S., Ethnic Interests publications begins.