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World History - Burt: Analysis of the Source

North Shore Community College Library resources for Professor Jessica Burt's World History Primary Source Research Project.

Secondary Sources Defined

What is a secondary source?

Secondary sources interpret and analyze primary sources. Secondary sources are often referred to as one or more steps removed from the event. Secondary sources are published as:

  1. Journal or magazine articles that interpret or review findings

  2. Books that contain histories / commentaries / criticisms of a topic, and biographies

  3. Video documentaries

Secondary sources may include primary sources in them. (e.g.  pictures, quotes or excerpts)

Finding Books

Find secondary sources published as books or ebooks
Network Sharing and InterLibrary Loan Options for Getting Books

If the NSCC Library does not have the book on our shelves or electronically, HELM college libraries across the state and other affiliate libraries will lend books to NSCC students, faculty and staff.

Request books here

Finding Articles

Find secondary sources published as journal or magazine articles
InterLibrary Loan Options for Getting Articles

If the NSCC Library does not have access to the article you need, document delivery services are available to NSCC students, faculty and staff.

Request articles here

Finding Videos

Find secondary sources published as video documentaries

Evaluating and interpreting historical research

Critically Evaluating Historical Materials
  • Evaluate each source to determine if it is primary or secondary, scholarly or popular and if you are using it appropriately
  • Understand there are gaps in the historical record
  • Think critically about the credibility of sources
  • Determine the credentials and intent of an author before using a source
  • Consider how the historical context in which the information was originally created, accessed, and distributed would affect its message
  • Contextualize primary and secondary source materials within the larger debates surrounding the writing of history

(Adapted from the American Library Association's Information Literacy Guidelines and Competencies for Undergraduate History Students)