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Education Abroad: Library Tools for the Traveling Student: Primary Sources: A Modern Context

Library resources, instructions for access, and library contact information.

Yesterday's telegram, today's text message.

Step #6 (Well, not really but I had to get you here so, My Bad!) The primary sources used in historical research can seem unfamiliar and separate from modern times, but have you ever considered that in our day-to-day lives we are creating and interacting with dozens -- if not hundreds -- of primary sources?

Here are just a few examples of how people of yesteryear communicated with one another or kept track of their daily activities. Times have changed and technology has evolved, but are we really all that different from these folks? Compare the examples on the left to those on the right. Whaddaya think?

Now You Have to Cite the Sources You Use!

You will be expected to tell readers of your papers where they can find the information you include, and for that you'll need to use the appropriate style. Ask your instructor what style (e.g., MLA, Chicago, APA) you should use when citing your sources. Then you can use the Style Guides and Manuals Research Guide to find out how to cite the works you've used.

Modern Primary Sources.

Text messages and e-mails are primary sources.

Blog posts are primary sources.

Receipts from the grocery store and your electric bill are primary sources.

Twitter and Facebook posts are primary sources.

All of those examples document events, perceptions and activities at a given time. While the speed, frequency and physical medium of those examples are strikingly different when compared to the primary sources housed in archival repositories, the content can be surprisingly similar.






Off You Go!

You're ready, you're all set, now GO!

Always remember, your UK Archivists and Librarians are here to help YOU!

If you don't ask us, we can't help you (and your grade will undoubtedly suffer Smiley )

We look forward to seeing you in the Special Collections Library!

If you have any questions, you can always call or email us:

(I told you this was going to be easy, but it's up to you to make it fun, or at least semi-enjoyable.)


Phone:  859.257.8611


Contact Us at the SCRC