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HMW9: Where to Find Tertiary, Secondary, Primary...

History of the Modern World

What are Teritary Sources?

Tertiary sources generally provide an overview or summary of a topic, and may contain both primary and secondary sources. The information is displayed as entirely factual, and does not include analysis or critique.

  • Can also be collections of primary and secondary sources, such as databases, bibliographies and directories

  •  Great for background and understanding historical events, people, dates. Tertiary sources help you develop ideas and lead you to primary and secondary sources

    • Encyclopedias (may also be secondary);
    • Almanacs;
    • Bibliographies;
    • Chronologies;
    • Dictionaries; 
    • Directories;
    • Fact books;
    • Guidebooks;
    • Indexes, abstracts, bibliographies used to locate primary and secondary sources;
    • Manuals;
    • Textbooks (also be secondary)

What are Secondary Sources?

Secondary sources address or analyze events, people, works, or topics after the fact.

  • Provides background information, analysis, and unique perspectives one or more steps removed from an original event or work.
  • Check the bibliography for leads to primary and  more secondary sources
    • Do  you have a secondary source?

Author: What is the author's relationship to the material or event described? Does his or her knowledge stem from personal experience or not? 

Purpose: What is the purpose of the content? Is the author interpreting previous events?

Publication Date: Is the date of the publication further away from the event described?

  • Newspaper articles
  • Journal and magazine articles
  • Encyclopedias
  • Books




What are Primary Sources?

Primary sources are original artifacts or documents. They offer contemporary accounts from participants or people directly involved in an event.

  • Use your Tertiary and Secondary sources for leads to primary sources.
  • Check the HMW LibGuides Tabs "Primary Sources," "US Primary Sources," "More Primary Sources"




Open TABS to "Find Online Databases" "Find Magazines & Journals"