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Expanding Your Research with Secondary Sources

Explore Chicago Collections includes primary source materials, such as digital images, and descriptions of archival collections housed at libraries and special collections throughout Chicago. Expand your research by using secondary sources such as books and scholarly journal articles. These resources will deepen your understanding of the primary sources you find in Explore Chicago Collections by providing further context and the interpretations of historians and other scholars.

Use library catalogs to search for books. Worldcat is a freely available catalog which lists the holdings of libraries throughout the world.  You can also search the Chicago Public Library catalog or the catalogs of individual museums, college and university libraries (note that you often need to be affiliated with colleges and universities in order to check out materials)

Use article databases to search for articles published in magazines, newspapers and scholarly journals. The Chicago Public Library provides online access toselected article databases for conducting historical research to anyone with a library card (other public libraries provide similar access). College and university libraries also offer access to a wide range of article databases. Remote access to these databases is usually restricted to members, but some libraries offer on-site access to visiting researchers. Check with individual libraries for access policies.

Search Google Scholar to find books and scholarly articles. While some of the materials found in Google Scholar may be available in full-text, many require require subscriptions. You may be able to obtain these materials via interlibrary loan from a public library or by visiting a library that owns a particular book, journal or magazine (search Worldcat to find holdings information)

encyclopedia of chciago

Newspaper articles are a key primary resource to incorporate into historical research, as they provide the perspective of the press from a historical vantage point. Some historical newspapers are available online through libraries, and some are available only on microfilm. Use Worldcat or individual library catalogs to look up holdings information for specific newspapers. 

  • The Chicago Public Library provides online access to a variety of contemporary and historical newspapers including the Chicago Daily News, the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Defender and the Chicago Sun Times. 
  • The Chicago Reader Archive is available online from 1971-present
  • Chicago Foreign Language Press Survey: The survey was published in 1942 by the Chicago Public Library Omnibus Project of the Works Projects Administration of Illinois. The purpose of the project was to translate and classify selected news articles that appeared in the foreign language press from 1855 to 1938. The project consists of 120,000 typewritten pages translated from newspapers of 22 different foreign language communities in Chicago
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Expanding Research with Secondary Sources

Explore Chicago Collections includes primary source materials, such as digital images, and descriptions of archival collections housed at libraries and special collections throughout the Chicagoland area. Expand your research by using secondary sources such as books and scholarly journal articles. These resources will deepen your understanding of the primary sources you find in Explore Chicago Collections by providing further context and the interpretations of historians and other scholars.

Use library catalogs to search for books. Worldcat is a freely available catalog which lists the holdings of libraries throughout the world.  You can also search the Chicago Public Library catalog or the catalogs of individual museums, college and university libraries (note that you often need to be affiliated with colleges and universities in order to check out materials)

Use article databases to search for articles published in magazines, newspapers and scholarly journals. The Chicago Public Library provides online access to selected article databases for conducting historical research to anyone with a library card (other public libraries provide similar access). College and university libraries also offer access to a wide range of article databases. Remote access to these databases is usually restricted to members, but some libraries offer on-site access to visiting researchers. Check with individual libraries for access policies.

Search Google Scholar to find books and scholarly articles. While some of the materials found in Google Scholar may be available in full-text, many require require subscriptions. You may be able to obtain these materials via interlibrary loan from a public library or by visiting a library that owns a particular book, journal or magazine (search Worldcat to find holdings information)

Encyclopedia of Chicago

encyclopedia of chciago

Newspapers

Newspaper articles are a key primary resource to incorporate into historical research, as they provide the perspective of the press from a historical vantage point. Some historical newspapers are available online through libraries, and some are available only on microfilm. Use Worldcat or individual library catalogs to look up holdings information for specific newspapers. 

  • The Chicago Public Library provides online access to a variety of contemporary and historical newspapers including the Chicago Daily News, the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Defender and the Chicago Sun Times. 
  • The Chicago Reader Archive is available online from 1971-present
  • Chicago Foreign Language Press Survey: The survey was published in 1942 by the Chicago Public Library Omnibus Project of the Works Projects Administration of Illinois. The purpose of the project was to translate and classify selected news articles that appeared in the foreign language press from 1855 to 1938. The project consists of 120,000 typewritten pages translated from newspapers of 22 different foreign language communities in Chicago

Statistics and Government Information

The government publishes a wealth of information and statistics online. Here are just a few ideas of what you can find. Consult a librarian for more suggestions based the focus of your research question.

Historical Census Data:

National Center for Education Statistics: Historical Tables and Reports: Historical education data 

National Vital Statistics System: Historical Data, 1900-1998: Contains historical information on life expectancy, causes of death, death rates in the United States

USA.gov: Portal for searching state and federal government websites