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FAMST 101A: Primary Sources

Library Research Guide for Film & Media Studies 101A: History of International Cinema: Silent Film

Primary v. Secondary Sources

Primary sources are "first-hand" information, sources as close as possible to the origin of the information or idea under study.

In contrast, secondary sources, works that provide analysis, commentary, or criticism on the primary source.

Primary sources include original creative works (movies, television and radio shows, advertisement), written works by people who were participants or direct witnesses to an event (memoirs, personal correspondence, oral histories, and contemporary newspaper accounts).

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Calisphere  provides free access to unique and historically important artifacts for research, teaching, and curious exploration. Discover over one million photographs, documents, letters, artwork, diaries, oral histories, films, advertisements, musical recordings, and more. The collections on Calisphere have been digitized and contributed by all ten campuses of the University of California and other important libraries, archives, and museums throughout the state

Digital Public Library of America makes millions of materials from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions across the country available to all in a one-stop discovery experience.

Europeana works with thousands of European archives, libraries and museums to share cultural heritage for enjoyment, education and research. Europeana provides access to millions of books, music, artworks and more – with sophisticated search and filter tools to help you find what you’re looking for.

Umbra Search African American History is a digital library and widget that aggregates materials documenting African American history and cultural life from archives, libraries, museums, and other US repositories. Umbra Search features thumbnail images and descriptive information about photographs, manuscripts, documents, books, sound files, video files, and other freely available resources.

Select Digital Collections

Margaret Herrick Library (MHL) Digital Collections - Contains more than 35,000 digital items representing a curated selection of materials from the library's holdings including correspondence, photographs, sheet music, scrapbooks, lobby cards, movie ephemera, books, film magazines, and industry publications.

BAMPFA Film Library & Study Center: The  online database, CineFiles, contains scanned images of reviews, press kits, film festival and repertory theater program notes, newspaper articles, and other ephemera from their collection. Some materials may be restricted due to copyright and require a free account to access.

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Online Archive of California

Find items held in the UCSB archives and manuscript collections, via the Online Archive of California.


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