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A primary source comes directly from the concept or people in question. Primary sources give us direct glimpses into how people thought and felt at the time. A few possibilities include:
Diaries, letters, manuscripts, autobiographies
Photographs, drawings, and other creative works
News footage and newspaper articles from the period
Artifacts like clothing and furniture
Original research reports and lab notes
Laws, statutes, and court opinions
Why Primary Sources?
Primary sources build key learning skills
Develop critical thinking skills
Provide greater understanding of topics being studied
Allow you to come to your own conclusions
Develop grounding in history to better question what has been or is being said about a topic/event
Potential Topic Prompts
The question prompts and resources listed are somewhat interchangeable. Don't hesitate to experiment with an information source not listed directly beneath the question prompt. Many of these resources will have primary sources as part of the overall content of the page. Some of the sources will be strictly images or articles.
1. Why do you think that agriculture remained the cornerstone of the Texas economy in the late nineteenth century even though so many Texans wanted the state to industrialize?
Over 100,000 unique historical photographs, newspapers, yearbooks, letters, oral histories, periodicals, manuscripts, journals, documents, maps, audio/video files and more pertaining to the history of west Texas.
4. Most historians believe that World War II did more than the New Deal to end the Great Depression. Does the experience of Texas in the 1940s support this argument?
Articles from periodicals, reference books, and newspapers on Texas history, culture, and life, biographies of important Texans, and more.
Example search thread: New Deal, 1933-1939 AND Texas AND econom*