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History: Primary Sources

Subject Research Guide

LIBRARY OF AMERICAN CIVILIZATION


"The Library of American Civilization (LAC) is a collection of 4,500 titles focused on all aspects of American life and literature from their beginnings to the outbreak of World War I. It includes books, pamphlets, periodicals and documents, many of which are out of print."  Note that this collection includes primary source material about slaves and slavery in the United States

Iona College Libraries owns this collection.  Publications are on microfiche (similar to microfilm, but on rectangular "sheets" of film).
Individual publications are included in our library catalog.  These are identified by call numbers which begin with "LAC".
If you find a publication in our catalog whose call number begins with "LAC", you should do the following:

  1. Look to see if the record in the catalog has a link for electronic text.  If so, simply click on that link to read the full text of the publication.
  2. If there is no link to electronic full-text, you may need to read the publication on microfiche.  If this is the case, copy down the complete LAC number and bring it to the HELP DESK located on the 1st floor of Ryan Library.  Staff will bring you the publication on microfiche and set you up at a microfiche reader/printer.

Primary and Secondary Sources

Understanding Primary and Secondary Sources video courtesy of EasyBib.

ELECTRONIC RESOURCES

FINDING PRIMARY SOURCES IN IONA WORLDCAT

TIP:  Add words to your search such as "sources" (without quotes), "correspondence" (without quotes), "letters" (without quotes), or "diaries" (without quotes)  in your catalog searches to retrieve publications which contain primary sources.
For example:

[topic word(s)/term(s)] sources  (e.g. slave* sources)
[topic word(s)/term(s)] correspondence
[topic word(s)/term(s)] letters
[topic word(s)/term(s)] diaries

DOCUMENTATION ON THE INTERNET

Many primary sources have been digitized and are freely available on the Internet.
The following are review sites for internet resources.  Review sites include links to resources which have been carefully reviewed and screened for quality.  You may search these review sites for information on slave trade and slavery.

INTERNET PUBLIC LIBRARY
INTERNET SCOUT REPORT

You may also easily use search engines such as Google to find resources directly. 

Be sure to carefully review items listed in screen results for quality.  Check to see who sponsors the resource.  Is it a university or scholarly organization, a U.S. government agency, a research institution?  A reputable publisher?  Most web resource have an "about" or "about us" page which explains who sponsors the site and what it includes.

In Google, consider limiting searches to a particular domain or domain type, e.g. education web site, or site of a particular educational institution.  Add at end of your search, site:____   following by domain type or domain.

Examples: 
"african slave trade" site:.edu     
"african slave trade" site:.harvard.edu