Historical research is how professional and amateur historians, genealogists, archeologists, anthropologists, authors, educators, students and YOU learn about the past. Through historical study you can trace the story of your family, learn about the people who built your home, and better understand the people, places and events that make your community unique.
Regardless of the subject of your historical study, you will use both primary and secondary sources to gather information. A primary source is a document or object which was written or created during the time you are studying. These sources offer an inside view of a particular event. Examples of primary sources include speeches, diaries, interviews, newspapers, autobiographies and documents. A secondary source interprets and analyzes primary sources. These sources are one or more steps removed from the event. Examples of secondary sources include books, documentaries and encyclopedias.
There are many local sources for primary and secondary materials, such as historical societies, museums, public libraries and university and college libraries. On the following pages, we list specific sources which may help you in your research.