History -- HST410 -- Introduction to Archival Research: Archival Research
The purpose of this guide is to help you become comfortable performing research using Archives and Special Collection and to help you understand the basics of archival organization and specifics associated with this collection and other collections.
Archival materials are mostly primary resources. Primary resources should be used in a research project after consulting all available secondary source materials on a topic and will help you build upon prior research and develop your own interpretation of events. Even if nothing has been written directly on your topic, background research will help you to understand the context in which events occurred or the time and place in which event took place.
Primary vs Secondary Resources
What are primary materials?
The definition from the Society of American Archivists:
"Material that contains firsthand accounts of events and that was created contemporaneous to those events or later recalled by an eyewitness."