Where to Find Digitized Secondary Sources

Hey there, Friend! Welcome! Today we’re talking about where to find Digitized Secondary Sources for research papers, projects, and more. If you need primary sources for your project – I encourage you to check out this article next: The Best Places to Find Digitized Primary Sources.

Now you might be wondering what a secondary source is, well, it’s secondhand account of an event, person, movement, or thing. Secondary sources include articles, books, encyclopedias, etc. They are useful in summarizing events and for broad learning! Personally, I love reading secondary sources to see how other historians have written about certain topics. Let’s get started!

JSTOR

JSTOR is a great platform for research articles. You can make a free account and read 100 articles per month. If you are a college/university student or faculty member you will have access to more articles.

Bonus Tip: Make sure to check out what other databases your institution has access to! There are a lot of cool databases for all kinds of degrees!

Public Library Systems

The public library is one of the most under-utilized community assets in my opinion. Many public libraries now have digital and audio book platforms where you can rent books for FREE.

Seriously, go check out the public library! It’s also a great place to work on your project because they’re usually quiet.

Scribd or Audible

Scribd and Audible are both apps that you will have to pay for. Personally, I use Scribd and love it! There are hundreds of books, articles, audiobooks, PDFs, and more on a number of topics. I love listening to the audiobooks during workouts or while cleaning the house.

Archive.org

Archive.org is another one of those websites that is a treasure trove! There are primary and secondary sources here. All you have to do is create an account and you can access books for free! You have different options for how long you can rent the book, but if you run out of time and don’t get it all read then all you have to do is check the book out again (This can be done instantly).

Bonus Tip: I was able to find some of the books I needed for graduate seminars on this website which saved me $$$.

Google Play

Google Play has several books that you can read! You can read some of them for free, but there are also others that you have to pay for. It’s worth checking out!

Google Scholar

Google Scholar is a great place to find scholarly articles in hundreds of fields! Check it out!

Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg is a website full of public domain material. There are lots of books!

Hathi Trust – Digital Library

Hathi Trust is great for finding out of print and public domain books! Check it out!

Concluding Thoughts

Hey friend, thank you so much for reading. I hope you found a secondary source database that will help you complete that research paper or project. Good luck and happy reading/writing!

I’ll talk to ya soon! 🙂

Where to Find Public Domain Images for Your Next Project

Hey there friend! Have you ever needed a picture for your project, but not known where to find non-copyrighted images? Today, I am going to give you a list of places to find non-copyrighted images that are perfect for any project. I have personally used the websites in this post for my own projects and assignments. 

1). Smithsonian Open Access 

The Smithsonian has released millions of their images into the Public Domain. This collection includes images and objects from across their museum holdings. The home page for this website is linked here. (https://www.si.edu/openaccess

2). Library of Congress 

This applies to some of their collections and images. Make sure to click on the image you want to use and double check that is says CC0 or Public Domain. 

The Library of Congress has curated several sets of free to use images. They can be found here. (https://www.loc.gov/free-to-use/)

3). Flickr

Flickr is another cool platform to search for non copyrighted images. This website contains more stock photos than the previous two. 

There are several more websites out there that offer stock photos, but I haven’t used them so I don’t want to talk about them.

Bonus Tips & Ideas

Many archives will let you use their photos if you email them and ask for permission. You will want to email their contact person – make sure to be extra nice! Some archives will ask for citations, while other may ask you to pay a fee to use their image. Either way, make sure that you comply with their rules! 

Another good option is to take your own photos for your project! Many smart phones today have amazon cameras and you can capture lots of good footage. Make sure that you film in the orientation that is best for your project: portrait or landscape. You can then import the images into an app or download them to your computer to edit them! 

You can also create handwritten, drawn, or digital abstract designs for your project! There are a lot of apps out there so check them out and get creative! 

Concluding Thoughts

*It is important to note that CC0 and Public Domain images are the ones being discussed in this article. There are more copyright laws that get kind of messy, but I will let you look into that route!

Here is a list of places to find primary sources that you can check out next! I hope this helps for your next project!

I’ll talk to ya soon! 🙂 

The Best Places to Find Digitized Primary Sources

Hello – welcome back to my blog! Today I am going to tell you about my favorite places to find digitized primary sources. This article will be helpful for professional researchers, historians, and students needing to find evidence for their projects. 

Finding primary sources can be hard to begin with, but now that most archives are either closed or restricted it has become even more difficult… I know this firsthand. I finished and defended my Master’s Thesis in Summer 2020 and couldn’t go anywhere. So these are some of the resources that I used and some that I have found working as a research assistant.

Feel free to email me with other sources that you use and I will add them to this list! 

*Disclaimer: There are no paid ads in this article. I am only talking about the sources I have personally used and/or paid to use myself. 

1. archive.org 

This website is free and has saved my life on multiple occasions. They have digitized hundreds of thousands of primary source documents that you can look at. All you have to do is sign up for a free account. Then you are able to look at documents or “check them out” for two weeks much like a public library. They have also digitized thousands of secondary sources that are great for literature reviews and historiographical essays.

2. JSTOR

JSTOR has a free version of their website – all you have to do is make an account. Then there’s a workspace where you can save articles in folders for different projects. Unfortunately, you can’t access JSTOR’s entire collection, but you can access a ton of stuff. Students or faculty at colleges/universities will have access to more articles than people with only the free account.

BONUS TIP: If you are a student or faculty member at a university and can’t find the article you need, email your library on campus. They will often have an interlibrary loan or request section where they can purchase the article for you and send it your way. Save yourself time and money by using the library resources! 

3. Research Library Databases

Library databases are so helpful. Many libraries have or are working on digitizing their primary sources which makes their special collections more readily available for research. If the collection itself hasn’t been digitized many libraries have at least made their Finding Aids available online. 

For example, the Newberry Library has digitized thousands of documents! (https://www.newberry.org)

4. Digital Archives

Digital archives were huge for me while I was finishing my thesis. Many state historical societies in the US have digitized their holdings or at least made the Finding Aids available online. 

Many state archives might be wiling to scan the pieces of the collection you need for a small fee. Check out their website to see the rate or email the archivist to ask! I’ve communicated with many kind archivists and they are so helpful! ALWAYS BE NICE to the archivist!!!

5. Museum Collections

Digital museum collections are another great place to find primary sources. You can look at the items in their collections or you can check out their online exhibits. Most museums only have enough space to display 10% of their physical collection so digital catalogs allow them to display more items!

Many museums have digitized more and more of their collections due to the pandemic. This has made museum exhibits more widely available to larger audiences which means more people can view and love the collections. How cool is that!

6. Public Library Databases

Public libraries are another great place to find primary sources. Public libraries often have subscriptions to online databases which allow you to do primary source research. You can also do interlibrary loans through the public library – this is where they order books from other library systems for you. 

ALWAYS BE KIND to the librarians you communicate with online or over the phone. They might find extra materials and send them your way. I remember one librarian doing this for me and it made a huge difference in my research paper. Thank your librarian today!

7. SCRIBD

SCRIBD is a paid subscription service that I personally use for my research. They have digitized several primary source documents that you can view after paying a monthly fee. SCRIBD also has digitized secondary sources as well. Some are PDFS, some are digitized books, and others are audiobooks. Listening to secondary sources while running or doing chores has saved me so much time 🙂

8. ancestry.com or other genealogical sites

Personally, I use ancestry.com for my research. This is another source that you have to pay to access, but they have different prices depending on what kind of sources you need. I always find cool things when I look on Ancestry. For example, there are census records, military records, pictures, draft cards, directories, yearbooks and more! Check it out!

9. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov

This database is run by the Library of Congress (another awesome database) and provides free access to newspaper across the United States. There are local, regional, and national newspapers in this databases. You can clip articles or see whole pages as PDFs. 

10. newspapers.com

This is another newspaper database, but it is a paid subscription. Personally, I think this is the easiest newspaper database to navigate. So it use this one the most! Most of my newspaper clippings on my instagram posts come from this website. 

Concluding Thoughts

This list will be updated as I find new databases! So I hope this becomes a resource that is really helpful for you! Thanks for reading!

I’ll talk to ya soon! 🙂