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HIS223/MUS103C: African American History/Intro to Jazz Cluster: Primary Sources


Welcome!  This guide should help you to complete your primary source analysis assignment for HIS223C. 

Chicago Manual of Style (CMS), Citation Guide

The following links will help you to navigate the Chicago style for citing sources within your paper and creating a great bibliography.

Primary Source Review

According to the American Library Association, primary sources are: 

"the evidence of history, original records or objects created by participants or observers at the time historical events occurred or even well after events, as in memoirs and oral histories....These sources serve as the raw materials historians use to interpret and analyze the past."

For this assignment, you are being asked to use "non-textual" primary sources.  Examples include but are not limited to:

  • photographs and prints
  • maps
  • motion pictures
  • sound recordings
  • oral histories
  • political cartoons
  • sheet music and song sheets

Finding a Primary Source

Using the Library of Congress, you are asked to find a primary sources about African American history:

Try using the following search strategies to find results that are relevent and interesting:

  • Use the search box  
    • HINT: Try typing in a variety of search terms in different combinations.  "African American" is broad, so try adding additional words to your search.
  • Use the Browse by Topic tools
    • HINT: There are collections digital items specifically related to African American history
  • Use the Bibliograhies and Guides

Analyzing a Primary Source

Once you have found and identified a relevent and interesting primary source documenting African American history, fill out the appropriate worksheet from the Library of Congress.


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