Good Topics in IB History:
- can be supported with substantial information, including primary sources
- discusses origins, purpose, value, and limitations of sources
- does not cover events of the last twenty years
Remember: Good topics are researchable, debatable, have a manageable scope/size and are interesting to you! Think about people, places, events and ideas that you want to learn more about.
Examples of debatable questions with history topics:
Google News Archive:
Search old newspapers (think about date, location, and event)
Google Archived Newspapers: Browse titles
Google Advanced News Search: Search by location and date
Google Scholar & Google Books
Search for academic publications: Follow citations (look up authors or the works they cited!)
Museums and Archives:
Where is your ideal location for primary source information (a city, state, or country? library, museum or archive? university?)
Publication Date: April 18, 2013Search thousands of texts, images, audio files, video files, and other resources digitized by libraries and other organizations in the United States.
Primary materials from countries and cultures around the world (focus on UNESCO member countries). Free of charge and in multilingual format.
U.S. History Resources from Libraries, Museums, and Archives
Collection of history resource links, categorized and organized (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Michigan State University – audio library dating back to 1888
The Online Archive of California (OAC) provides free public access to detailed descriptions of primary resource collections maintained by more than 200 contributing institutions including libraries, special collections, archives, historical societies, and museums throughout California and collections maintained by the 10 University of California (UC) campuses.
search video, audio, music and text
HathiTrust is a partnership of major research institutions and libraries working to ensure that the cultural record is preserved and accessible long into the future. There are more than 90 partners in HathiTrust, and membership is open to institutions worldwide.
check out exhibits!The European Library is the library aggregator for Europeana, and part of the Europeana family of services.The European Library offers access to the collections of national and research libraries in 46 countries. Researchers can cross-search over 200 million records, including over 24 million pages of full-text content and 10 million digital objects.
Over 1,000,000 free ebook titles of the World’s classic literature.
- U of M digital collections- public
Primary and Secondary Sources:
Primary Sources (social sciences and humanities):
Primary sources of information provide first-hand accounts of the event you are researching. Generally, they are works created by the witnesses or “first recorders” of the event at or near the time it occurred. They are important sources of information to historians.
Examples of primary sources may include:
- contemporary accounts in newspapers, magazines and other publications from the period in question;
- letters, diaries, autobiographies or memoirs, photographs;
- government documents, reports, financial records, memos
- creative works or other materials.
Secondary sources are created by people who were not a witness to the event. They describe, analyze, interpret, or review the event (or the primary source). Secondary sources are likely written years after the event of interest and include additional perspectives and historical context. Recent works are valued because they include criticism and updates to scholarly knowledge on the event or topic of interest.
Example of secondary sources may include:
- scholarly books or articles
- ALA: Finding and using primary sources
From the American Library Association
- OU Library Guide
Resources from Oakland University
- Renew your OU books
access only at school! 4,300+ newspapers from the 1700s–2000s
- Michigan Digital Newspaper Portal
Links provide access to some free and some paid newspaper archives
- Chronicling America- Library of Congress
Search America’s historic newspaper pages from 1836-1922 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present.
GVRL Suggested Sources:
American Era’s: 1600-1899: Select a volume using the grey drop-down box. Then use the table of contents below to browse the topics covered for the era.
American Decades: Primary Documents 1900-1999: Select a volume using the grey drop-down box. Then use the table of contents below to browse the topics covered for the decade.