Quality historical research will utilize primary and secondary sources within our collection as well as articles from electronic databases and items housed in collections found throughout South Carolina and the United States.
Formats for these materials will include printed books, journal articles (both print and online), primary sources, microfilm and more.
The locations of the resources that will be utilized include the USC Upstate Library, USC Columbia campus, regional repositories, nationwide libraries, electronic databases and reputable Internet sources.
For more advanced research, sometimes it is useful to limit internet searches to primary source material only. These are often found in government and academic sites (which generally include libraries, as well). Consider limiting your search to .edu and .gov websites.
There are different ways to organize sources. One basic division is between non-written artifacts (remains, buildings, coins, statues, clothing, etc.), and written documents (records, diaries, newspapers, treaties, etc.). For most courses, you will only need to understand written sources.
Among written sources, historians usually assign three levels of relevance: Primary, Secondary and Tertiary. These categories take their names from the Latin for one, two or three steps removed from the original event.