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HIST 344: The Age of Industry in America

Let this guide be your guide through Dr. Jackson's biographical history project. Here you'll find resources for finding primary sources, using Chicago/Turabian Style, and some ideas for contextualizing your chosen subject in history.

Primary sources in analytical historical biography

A natural inclination when considering biographical research with primary sources is to look for sources created by or about the person. These would include sources like

  • Letters (correspondence)
  • Diaries or personal journals
  • Family photographs
  • Personal scrapbooks
  • Autobiographical writings
  • Oral histories

However, it's important to remember that primary sources that provide information about the historical and cultural context of the subject will help you analyze what influenced and was influenced by your subject. These sources could include

  • Contemporary newspaper clippings
  • Organization records (political parties, labor unions, universities, etc.)
  • Editorials and cartoons
  • Contemporary magazine articles
  • Writings by or about contemporary figures who came in contact with your subject
  • Objects of significance (material culture)

Examples of primary sources