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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

History 498D: African History

Primary Sources and Secondary Sources

Historical research often involves cycling between primary sources (the texts and other materials created in the historical period you are studying) and secondary sources (texts that attempt to explain, interpret, or narrate the past). You may start by learning about the period through your assigned (secondary source) readings, then spend time with primary sources, then search for secondary sources to help you understand and interpret the primary sources. 

The research tools, databases, collections of sources, and suggestions on this research guide will help you find both primary and secondary sources.

To learn more about how to find primary sources, see the "Primary Sources" page in our Library Resources for History Students guide.

Find a Librarian to Help You

Subject specialist librarians are eager to assist you with your library research, and in most cases can save you a lot of time, especially if you meet with them early in order to plan out your research strategy.

Atoma Batoma
African Studies Librarian
batoma@illinois.edu

Laila Hussein Moustafa
North African Studies Librarian
lhoussei@illinois.edu

Celestina Savonius-Wroth
History Librarian
cswroth@illinois.edu