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What are Secondary Sources?

Secondary Sources provide secondhand testimony or indirect evidence of a question or investigation. Thus, they are a step removed from the event or original information. Secondary sources interpret or analyze primary sources.  

Some examples of primary sources include:

  • Biographies
  • Articles that interpret,analyze, review research works.
  • Books that interpret, analyze, review research works.
  • Reviews
  • Essays
  • Bibliographies
  • Textbooks
  • Analysis or interpretation of data.  For example,  Statistics.
  • A blog post
  • An analysis of a case study
  • A critical examination of a literary work
  • Documentaries (though they often include photos or video portions that can be considered primary sources)


History Databases

These databases specialize in history resources. You can search for your topic in these databases to retrieve journal or magazine articles, primary documents, images and more.

Supplementary History Databases

These databases contain history resources among other subjects.

Newspaper Databases

  • Newspapers can serve as useful primary sources for historical research.
  • They reflect the time period in which they were created, and provide a glimpse into society at the time.
  • Though some local newspapers are available digitally or on microfilm, many others are available only in their own local regions.
  • South Mountain Community Library can sometimes borrow hard-to-find newspapers on microfilm through the Inter-Library Loan service.  Please contact a Librarian. 

Newspapers Away from SMCL