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History 215: Southern African History: Primary Resources

Research help for History 215.

What Are Primary Resources?

Original records created at the time historical events occurred or well after events in the form of memoirs and oral histories. May include letters, diaries, manuscripts, journals, speeches, newspapers, interviews, memoirs, government documents, photographs, audio recordings, film or video recordings, research data, and objects or artifacts such as works of art or ancient roads, buildings, and tools.

Example:

Letter written by George Mason to John Mason

 

Credit: George Mason Primary Resources Guide

 

GeorgeMasonLetter

Types of Primary Resources

This is a list of the most common types of primary resources in history.  When searching for sources, you might watch for these terms to help you figures out if you have found a primary resource.  You might also use these terms in your searches to help focus on a particular type of source or narrow down a large list of results.

  • advertisements
  • autobiography/autobiographies
  • correspondence
  • description and travel
  • diary/diaries
  • documents
  • early works to 1800
  • interview/interviews
  • journal
  • letters
  • pamphlets
  • personal narratives
  • trials
  • sources
  • speeches

Primary Source Collections related to African history

Primary Source Collections related to slavery

Images of Africa

Court of King Kongo, 18th Century

"Court of King of Kongo, late 16th century; Image Reference Africa-4, as shown on www.slaveryimages.org, compiled by Jerome Handler and Michael Tuite, and sponsored by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and University of Virginia Library." 

Jessie Ball duPont Library, University of the South
178 Georgia Avenue, Sewanee, TN 37383
931.598.1664