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Kaua'i Community College Library

History 284: History of the Hawaiian Islands: Introduction

This research guide provides links to online resources and to records of print titles that can be checked out from University of Hawaii System Libraries, and that are recognized sources in the study of the Hawaii's history. This is not an exhaustive list, however, so use them as starting points.  The study of history is based on primary and secondary resources. The differences are described below. Follow the tabs at the top to find primary resources and secondary resources (books, journals, magazines, films) and research tools for the discipline of history.

What are Primary Sources 

Primary sources are eyewitness accounts created by observers or participants in actual events. Examples include diaries, letters, newspaper articles published at the time of the event(s), memoirs, autobiographies, speeches, photographs, interviews, oral histories, and government documents.

Video on Primary vs Secondary Sources

This short video from Hartness Library at the University of Vermont clearly explains the differences.

What are Secondary Sources 

Secondary sources are one or more steps removed from actual events/conditions. They are not created by people who experienced the actual events or conditions, but are analyses and interpretations of primary sources. Usually secondary sources in the field of history are scholarly books and academic journal articles, but can also be biographies, magazine articles, textbooks, documentary films, research reports and encyclopedias.