1) When you only have one semester to do a paper like this, it is a good idea to pick a riot to write about that has already been the subject of a secondary works. You want to have as much time as possible to read relevant sources and not spend the bulk of your time looking for sources. A quality secondary study will provide you with the basic facts and lead you to the best known primary sources.
2) Locate and review quality secondary sources that include information on the topic.
3) Get the facts. Knowing Who, What, When and Why will provide you with the information you will need as the basis of your paper. Once you have command of the basic facts, will be in a better position to provide your own interpretation of the facts.
4) Examine the footnotes and bibliography of the quality secondary source. See what primary sources exist and that you might be able to find for your research.
5) Use the basic facts to help you find primary sources not mentioned in the studies. Search under the names of imporant actors, look for government reports on the incident, police investigations, court trials and newspapers from the time and place.
Historians rely upond primary sources to do historical research. Historical newspaper sources often offer valuable primary source information on the news of the day. Every day more and more historical newspaper source material becomes available on the Internet, either through IUP Library databases or freely accessible digital projects. Historical newspaper databases offered by IUP Libraries include the Historical New York Times, Pittsburgh Courier, and the Wall Street Journal, and Access Newspaper. The Google Newspaper Archive site also offers full-text access to many other historical newspapers.
Use this search tool to search most of IUP Libraries resources, in one search.
Though we do not own direct fulltext access, these papers can be searched online and fulltext requested via Interlibrary Loan.