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FYS 199-13 Famous W&J Alumni (Nelson) Fall 2023

Primary Sources for Historical Study

Primary Source: First Hand, from the time the event took place

Eg. Notes, Letters, Photos, Interviews, Newspapers, Art, Film

Secondary Source: Second Hand, an analysis of events

Eg. Books, Editorials or Analysis in Newspapers, Web pages, Biographies, Dissertations, Documentary Films.


Please note, newspapers can contain both primary and secondary sources.

A newspaper article that documents events at the time they happened would be a primary source.

A newspaper article may be research-based, which makes it a secondary source, eg. an editorial or opinion piece.

Using newspapers alone can lead one to be misinformed about the time period being researched. Newspaper articles may include errors and discrepancies due to misreported events, unreliable sources, or political slants and biases.

Always check multiple source to get the full picture.

Source: University of Nebraska Kearney Lib Guide


Resources for finding W&J Alumni at a glance


Digitized Archive Material can be access online in our Clark Family Library Digital Archives

This includes:

  • Red & Black, Washington & Jefferson College's student-run newspaper. The digitized issues run from 1909 to 2016.


  • W&J Alumni Directory, 1802 - 1945It includes a general catalogue of graduates and non-graduates of Jefferson College, Washington College, and Washington & Jefferson College.




Archive Resources Online