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What is a Primary Source?
- Definition: an original, first-hand, or eye-witness account offering an inside view.
- Examples: diaries, interviews, letters, raw data, official documents, legislation, and court records, photographs, journal articles, newspaper articles, autobiographies, and speeches.
What is a Secondary Source?
- Definition: a secondary source provides second-hand information that has been digested, analyzed, reworded, and interpreted.
- Examples: encyclopedia articles, non-fiction books, commentary-style websites, textbooks
Shakopee High School Databases
Gale in Context This link opens in a new window
Encyclopedia, magazine, and journal articles, plus primary sources, images, video, and more for high school students.
Explora Teens This link opens in a new window
Contains middle and high school-appropriate magazine, journal, and encyclopedia articles and also includes primary source documents, reference books, and multimedia.
Britannica Academic Edition This link opens in a new window
Aimed at college/university students, it contains the Encyclopedia Britannica plus Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary and Thesaurus, magazines, periodicals and other research tools.
EBSCO MegaFile This link opens in a new window
Thousands of popular and scholarly publications across all academic disciplines and subject areas.
Suggested Websites for Primary Sources
AAS Historical Periodicals This link opens in a new window
Digitized images from the American Antiquarian Society of the pages of American magazines and journals published between 1684 and 1912.
Scott County Library Databases
Gale Biography in Context This link opens in a new window
A comprehensive database of biographical information throughout history, around the world and across all disciplines and subject areas. Use your Virtual Student Library Card to log in.
Dictionary of American History This link opens in a new window
A cross section of American history featuring biographies and entries on the some of the most important events in U.S. history. Use your Virtual Student Library Card to log in.
Milestone Documents in American History This link opens in a new window
Full-text primary source historical documents (such as the Constitution) with accompanying in-depth analytical essays. Use your Virtual Student Library Card to log in.
UXL Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes This link opens in a new window
Five volumes organized by region, describes the history, religious practices, food, and daily life of virtually every Native American tribe in the United States and Canada. Use your Virtual Student Library Card to log in.
Evaluating Websites from the General Internet