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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

History 498B: Sex and Science

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.

Bethany Anderson
Natural and Applied Sciences Archivist

Cindy Ingold
Gender & Women's Studies and LGBT Studies Librarian

Celestina Savonius-Wroth
History Librarian

Please check the list of Subject Specialists to find out who specializes in other areas related to your project.

Chat with a Librarian

Spring 2020 Ask a Librarian Hours

8:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Monday through Friday;
1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday;
1:00 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.