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Primary Sources for the 1960's

Historical Newspapers/Magazines

Primary Sources are original records created at the time historical events occurred.

Life Magazine (16K)

Find Primary Sources in Books

1. Search the Library Catalog to find primary sources in the SMC Library or WorldCat to find primary sources at another library. Type in keywords from your topic and any of the following terms.

  • sources
  • personal narratives
  • diaries
  • correspondence
  • speeches
  • manuscripts
  • notebooks
  • autobiography
  • description and travel
  • case studies
  • interviews
  • statistics
  • songs and music

Try the following searches in WorldCat:

2. You can also search for books written during the 1960's at Google Books by narrowing your results by date.

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Find Multimedia

West Side Story Movie

More Audio, Video, and Images

Yahoo Video Search
Use Advanced Search to limit to a specific site.

In addition to doing a general search, look for YouTube channels to search.



Find podcasts in Google by typing inurl:podcast and your keyword in the search box such as 1960's inurl:podcast

Media tools

Easily edit YouTube videos.

Open source audio editor.

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Find Digital Collections


Use Google to find digital collections on your topic.  Type in your keyword and the term "digital collection," "oral history," or "archive," for example. You can also restrict your searches by using the Google Advanced search and limiting to the .edu, .org, or .gov domains. 

Selected Digital Collections

Civil Rights in Mississippi Digital Archive
Collection from Univ. of Southern Mississippi Libraries of digitized photos, letters, oral history transcripts, and other documents.

Civil Rights Digital Library
Resources on civil rights from the University of Georgia Libraries.

Vietnam Center and Archive
Collection of digitized materials and other resources from Texas Tech University.

The Dirksen Center's Editorial Cartoon Collection
Collection of editorial cartoons that Senator Dirksen's (1959-69) staff compiled on topics such as Vietnam War, Republican party politics, etc.

Library of Congress Digital Collections
Primary documents in American History from the Library of Congress.

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
Search or browse the Access to Archival Databases and the Online Public Access Catalog.

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Secondary Sources: Articles, Books, and Encyclopedias

Secondary sources provide background and context for analyzing primary source materials.

Find Articles

Discovery Search
Search multiple library resources to find secondary sources -- scholarly journal articles, books, and dissertations on U.S. history and culture during the 1960s.

Specific Databases

America: History & Life
Political Science Complete
SocIndex Full Text

Caribbean Studies If the full text of the article is not available immediately in the database, click on the Check for Full Text link to locate the full text in another database.

Use Journal Finder if you have a citation and need to find the full text journal.


The Sixties Project
An older site but it still has a wealth of useful resources to track down.

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Find Books

Search the SMC Library Catalog:

Search libraries worldwide:

Google Books

If you find a book the library does not own, submit an interlibrary loan request.

Use Subject Headings and Keywords


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Find Encyclopedias

Specialized encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference works can provide good background information on your topic.

Encyclopedia of the Sixties (57K)

Use Reference Universe to search for other reference material in the library's collection.

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Evaluating Sources

Consider the following factors when evaluating your sources.

Currency - Is the timeliness of the information appropriate? Check the publication date of the website, book, or article. Date may not be an issue with historical topics unless you are looking for primary sources.

Relevance - Does the information fit your assignment/research question? Look at abstract, table of contents, introduction, cited references, and index to determine relevance. Is it a popular or scholarly source?

Authority - Who is taking responsibility for the source?--subject specialist, news reporter, organization. Where did they obtain their information? Is a bibliography or reference list provided? Look at author credentials, about us links on websites, etc.

Accuracy - Never rely on one source. Compare facts with additional sources.

Purpose - What is the intent of the article/author?--to persuade, to inform, to influence your opinion.


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Maintained by Stacey Knight