Primary vs. Secondary Sources
|Primary Source||Secondary Source|
|Literature||“Song of Myself” (Poem)||Journal article about the poem’s historical importance|
|Psychology||Results of clinical trial to treat ADD by modifying diet||Book about ways to treat childhood ADD without drugs|
|Politics and Government||U.S. Census Statistics||Book about suburban population changes in U.S.|
|History||Recorded interview with Choctaw American Indian||Journal article about Native Americans who served in WWII|
|Social Science||Diary of Anne Frank||Book about diaries kept during the Holocaust|
|Art||Photographs by Diane Arbus||Magazine article about 20th century female photographers|
To find primary sources such as autobiographies, journals, or other types of books for individual members of specific ethnic groups, use Library Search (formerly DIAMOND), the library's online catalog.
You will need to have the name of an individual. For example, Desi Arnaz is a famous Cuban-American best known for his role as the husband of Lucille Ball in the TV program I LOVE LUCY. If you wanted to locate an autobiography about Desi Arnaz, you would do a subject search in Diamond using his name: Arnaz, Desi This will find 2 subject headings. The first, Arnaz, Desi, 1917-1986, has three books listed and the second, Arnaz, Desi, 1917-1986 -- Songs and music, has two:
If you click the first subject heading, you will see a list of three titles. The first title A BOOK by DESI ARNAZ, is an autobiography and can be used as a primary source. The second is an FBI file on Desi Arnaz which can be read online. The third title is a biography about Lucy and Desi, which can be used to gather information about Desi Arnaz, but cannot be used as a primary source because the author is not writing about his own experience
If you don't know the name of a famous person in your ethnic group, use Wikipedia's LIST OF AMERICANS BY ETHNICITY OR PLACE OF ORIGIN to find one.
Temple's newspaper databases provide direct full-text access to the back files of thousands of newspapers titles. Newspaper articles can be considered as primary sources if written at the time of the event.
Major Temple newspaper databases: If you have an article topic in mind, search one or more of the major newspaper databases listed (in alphabetical order) below.
Major dailies available full-text online through Temple: