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HIS 102: Was it genocide or not?: Finding and analyzing primary sources

Good places to find Primary Sources

Remember to also evaluate where your source came from. "Whythiseventwasntagnocide.org" is not a great place to get your primary source, even though it's unlikely they doctored the document. Talk to Dr. Clark or Jamie if you're unsure.

You may also be able to search WISE for narratives of those involved in the event.

Google smarter! add site:.edu to the end of your search to only return results from college or university websites. Those are some of the best places to look for primary sources.

Evaluating Sources

You're hopefully not just finding a primary source just because- you should think critically about what it can tell you about the event that an academic source might not be able to. Just like any source, primary sources aren't usually pure and objective.

  • Who is the author?
  • What is their perspective? Any signs of bias?
  • Who was the intended audience?
  • What does this say about the event?
  • Does what it says differ from what historians now say? How/why?
  • What does it tell us about the event?

Practice evaluating primary sources


We'll do this together:

Find a NYT article called:

AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINES.: Numbers Decreasing in Recent Years -- Now Harmless and Ambitious Only to Wear a Brass Plate

    • Who is the author?
    • What is their perspective? Any signs of bias?
    • Who was the intended audience?
    • What does this say about the event?
    • Does what it says differ from what historians now say? How/why?
    • What does it tell us about the event?