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Using Primary Sources : Home

Archives Walk-in Hours

For students' convenience, The Learned T. Bulman '48 Historic Archives & Museum has walk-in hours:

  • Sundays: 1pm-3pm*
  • Wednesdays: 3pm-5pm

The Archives is located on the lower level of Clark Library.

Handling Archival Material

Archival material should be handled with great care. In the event that archival material is fragile, extra precautions must be taken in order to prevent damage.

  • On occassion, gloves may be neccessary to handle items that are fragile.
  • In the case of photographic glass negatives or basic negatives, all material should be handled with gloves.
  • Book supports may be neccesary if a book's binding is no longer completely intact.
  • Pencils are the only writing utensils allowed in the archives area.
  • Additionally, no food or drink is permitted in the area.


What is a Primary Source?

Primary Sources are firsthand accounts of an event. They are original records created at the time historical events occurred or well after events in the form of memoirs and oral histories.


Secondary Sources

Secondary Sources interpret and/or analyze primary sources.These sources are a step removed from what they are describing. Usually, secondary sources are published works.

Some examples of secondary sources include: textbooks, encyclopedias, analysis, and reviews. In regards to history, a journal article that analyzes the assassination of John F. Kennedy, or a book that discusses the Battle of the Bulge are examples of secondary sources.

Examples of Primary Sources

Primary sources may include letters, diaries, journals, speeches, interviews, memoirs, government documents, photographs, audio and video recordings, as well as ancient artifacts like tools or structures.

Citing Primary Sources - MLA & Chicago

These links will direct you to the Library of Congress website for information on primary source citation.

We're here to help

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Ronalee Ciocco
Director of Library Services
Clark Family Library
724-503-1001, ext. 3039

Using the Microform Collection

In addition to the primary source material in the Archives, newspapers of the period may have relevant information as well. Clark Family Library has a microform collection with newspapers such as the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, which span all or part of the 20th century.