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What are Primary Sources?
Primary sources are those that describe or show information about events as they are unfolding. They give us an understanding about daily life during a particular time period, and also share the mindset of the people living at a certain time in terms of what their thoughts, concerns, and opinions were.
These sources are valuable because they are eyewitness accounts; however, we also need to recognize that they represent the perspective of the person who recorded them. Therefore, we need to look at various primary sources to get a larger picture as well as take into consideration the person or group who created them.
Reference Series in GVRL
American Decades Primary Sources (10 volumes) by Thomson Gale
Cross-disciplinary source spanning the 20th century. Each volume in the set includes full or excerpted primary sources representing the seminal issues, themes, movements and events from a decade.
v.1: 1900-1909, v.2: 1910-1919, v.3: 1920-1929, v.4: 1930-1939, v.5: 1940-1949, v.6: 1950-1959, v.7: 1960-1969, v.8: 1970-1979, v.9: 1980-1989, v.10: 1990-1999
American Eras: Primary Sources (8 volumes) by Gale
Includes essays on events, publications, lifestyles and individuals important to particular eras in U.S. history.
v.1: Early American civilizations and exploration to 1600
v.2: The colonial era, 1600-1754
v.3: The revolutionary era, 1754-1783
v.4: Development of a nation, 1783-1815
v.5: The reform era and eastern U.S. development, 1815-1850
v.6: Westward expansion, 1800-1860
v.7: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1850-1877
v.8: Development of the industrial United States, 1878-1899
Daily Life through World History in Primary Documents (3 volumes) by Greenwood
Provides insight into major cultures from all continents including annotated primary documents introducing aspects of daily life throughout the world. Covers domestic life, economics, intellectual life, material life, politics, religion, and recreation, from antiquity to the present.
v.1: The ancient world, v.2: The Middle Ages and Renaissance, v.3: The modern world
The primary source documents in Essential Primary Sources series by Thomson Gale focus on leading social issues of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. International in scope.