MCOM 305: Mass Media History

Primary & Secondary Sources

Primary sources include original content, first-hand accounts, raw data, documents or objects created at the time of study. Primary sources vary dependent upon the focus of study.

For example, primary sources for a historian will include diaries, letters, newspaper article written at the time of an event; for a literary scholar, she may study a poem, a short story, or novel; for a musicologist, she may study notes written by the composer; for a biologist, she will study the findings of an original research project.

Secondary sources interpret or analyze a primary source. A secondary source provides commentary and discussion of a primary source.

For example, a magazine article that discusses a research study that analyzed data collected from a survey about literacy in rural school districts.

The following video was produced for University of West Florida Library; it contains useful information about primary and secondary sources:  

Magazines through the Catalog and Databases

To find more popular magazines accessible through the library, you can search our Periodicals holdings

Below you will find a beginner list of relevant periodicals in the library catalog. 

Internet Archive/Wayback Machine

Can't find a copy of a popular magazine published on the internet? Try looking at the Internet Archive/Wayback Machine.