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primary sources



  • Please Stop Calling Things Archives: An Archivist's Plea

    by B.M. Watson

    "As many historians currently use the word “archives,” they seem to imply that an archive is the natural state in which primary sources arrange themselves after being discarded or left by their creators."



  • Democracy, History and the Presidential Records Act

    by James Grossman and Richard Immerman

    It's time to update the Presidential Records Act to clarify the kinds of materials that must be preserved and create real penalties for destroying them. 



  • Has Twitter Changed How History Will See This Era?

    Carole McGranahan, a professor of history and anthropology, says that social media need to be taken seriously as sources of insight into the actions of prominent and anonymous people alike, and need to be preserved as sources.



  • How Spencer McBride Does History

    History Phd Spencer McBride describes his work on the Joseph Smith Papers project, which poses unexpected challenges to learn about the world of the LDS founder. 



  • Reckoning With Slavery: What A Revolt’s Archives Tell Us About Who Owns The Past

    by Marjoleine Kars

    Researching the history of the 1763-1764 Berbice slave rebellion demonstrated that key records for understanding slavery in the Americas are held in archives in Europe and written in the language of colonial powers, making the history of enslaved people difficult to access for their present-day descendants.



  • Bawdy Civil War Letters, In the Style of Ken Burns

    by Katie Hemphill

    Historian Katie Hemphill's recent crash course in video editing for Zoom teaching let her fulfill a longtime goal: set the bawdiest Civil War letters she found in her research to the stirring sounds of documentary music. Content Warning: Cuss Words.



  • Dive Into John F. Kennedy’s Daily CIA Updates

    Muckrock invites interested historians and history enthusiasts to participate in a project to make declassified Presidential intelligence briefings more widely accessible.