— Mae D'Amico, History in the Making

Good and Bad Primary Sources

Good Primary Sources

In the grand scheme of history, The Dust Bowl is a relatively recent event and because of this there are a lot of good primary sources.  Of course there are always pictures.  Another primary source I have found are the folk songs of a Dust Bowl survivor, Woodie Guthrie.  Woodie Guthrie, like all the pictures of The Dust Bowl, Guthrie’s songs were trying to raise awareness of The Dust Bowl and its migrants.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqiblXFlZuk[/youtube]

Bad Primary Sources

I have been lead to believe that all primary sources when it comes to writing a history paper, are good things.  The only example of a bad primary source that I can think of is the book that my prof. was displeased with because it was a secondary source that had primary sources in it.  The book Environmental Issues in American History: A Reference Guide with Primary Documents by Chris J. Magoc is exactly what the title says it is, a secondary source with reference to primary sources.  Although there are good primary sources in there, the sources could have been chosen and others left out because of bias.