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Adams State University
Nielsen Library

HGP 471 : Senior Seminar (Saenz)


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Jeff Bullington
He, Him, His
127 Nielsen Library


Welcome! This guide will help you find primary sources for your research paper. Your research paper should constitute an original contribution to a specified topic area of scholarly inquiry related to the borderlands of southern Colorado. By definition, borderland topics intersect with peoples from different backgrounds. Be mindful to frame your topic at the intersection of empires, states, and nations. Ideally, you’ll want to center your study in the San Luis Valley. Strong papers will identify the contrasting viewpoints of scholars and schools of thought. You should seek to situate yourself within such an intellectual milieu and a draw distinction between your approach and those of others.

 Contact the library if you need help!

Top Local History Resources

Primary vs. Secondary Sources

A primary source is a document, speech, or other sort of evidence written, created or otherwise produced during the time under study. These sources were present during an experience or time period and offer an inside view of a particular event. Some types of primary sources include:

  • Diaries, journals, and letters
  • Newspaper and magazine articles (contemporary, factual accounts)
  • Government records (census, marriage, military)
  • Photographs, maps, postcards, posters
  • Recorded or transcribed speeches
  • Interviews with participants, witnesses, or people alive during the time under study
  • Songs, Plays, novels, stories
  • Paintings, drawings, and sculptures

A secondary source interprets and analyzes primary sources. These sources are one or more steps removed from the event. Secondary sources may have pictures, quotes or graphics of primary sources in them. Some types of secondary sources include:

  • Biographies
  • Histories
  • Literary Criticism
  • Book, Art, and Theater Reviews
  • Newspaper articles that interpret

Information adapted from CUNY and Princeton libraries.