What are The Smithsonian?

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Brief Research Analysis paper

For this assignment, you will conduct research in a topic relevant to later American history (@1865-2017) using the Library of Congress’ American Memory digital collections, linked here OR another credible web archive of historical primary sources. Here are some other websites with primary source collections:

If searching for a primary source on the web, you should use the terms “source” or “sources” or “document” or “documents” along with your subject term(s).

You need to find one (1) primary source from a collection on the LOC site or another similar site with primary sources. Note: this should not be a commonly-used source, such as one of the documents like Dr. Martin L. King, Jr.’s 1963 march on Washington speech or any of the constitutional amendments. Strive to find something that is less common for your analysis and let me know if you have any questions. [see the syllabus for more information on primary sources] and submit a brief analysis paper that touches on the following information:

  • research process:how did you go about it, key issues, challenges, what worked, didn’t work, etc,
  • source: what does it say, depict, etc. – authorship(?)– any descriptive information you can garner, quotes, etc.
  • meaning: what’s meaningful about it for understanding American history? analyze it for significance, credibility, meaning to you as a student of history
  • context: what is broader setting of your source? How does it inform about particular time/place/era in American history?
  • citation: basic information on where it’s located, author, title, date, publisher, etc. URL, etc. – a digital copy attached to your paper, if possible, would be helpful to; this information should be found in a separate “Works Cited” section, here is a decent guide to putting together a “Works Cited” page with examples of citations: MLA Works Cited guide
  • NOTE: your assignment must reflect independent research and your source should not be fundamental, common American document
  • your source can not be one found on a website already in use for the class.
  • Length: @3-5 double-spaced pages


original materials from the period-

(Note: These can be re-printed in books, on the Web, etc.)

– journal accounts

– newspaper articles/editorials/letters-to-editor

– cartoons

– photographs/films (from period)

– poems. songs, literature

– political records (speeches, debates, etc.)

– letters

– oral testimony

– others?-


– historical interpretations of an event, circumstance, period, etc.-


•&νβσπ;Journal articles

– Theses, dissertations, etc.

– Media sources: films, documentaries, etc. (be careful here-consideration of these requires strong evidence of credibility & will always need approval first)

– others?-

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