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HST383: U.S. Women's History: Researching People of Color at Smith: Historic Context

Spring 2020, E. Pryor

How do I Conduct Research Based on a Primary Source?

When you start a research project centered on one or multiple primary source objects, consider the following:

  • Who is the author or creator? 
  • What format is the object (ex. a letter, manifesto or flyer)?
  • At what time period was the item created?
  • Who was the intended audience of the item?
  • What topics or subjects does the item explore or comment on? 

Use these questions to guide your initial research. Does answering these questions help you to better understand the item itself?

Reference Resources


Primary Source Collections

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