Consider the following guidelines when incorporating historical records into your entry
- A substantial portion of the student research must be based on historical records from archives, museums, historical societies, libraries, local governments, community organizations, businesses, families, or individuals. Historical records are not published copies of documents. They are original documents created during the time period on which the research is focused. The use of Internet websites, such as those of the New YorkState Archives, the Library of Congress, and the National Archives, is encouraged. When using Internet sources, students must link to the specific historical record used, not just the general website of the repository, in the annotated bibliography. However, the Internet should not be the only source of historical records. The following are examples of historical records and where they might be found:
- Personal papers: original letters, diaries, journals, photographs, drawings, and financial records from family collections or archives.
- Business records: ledgers, correspondence, journals, meeting minutes, advertisements, and research and development files. Business records are usually located at the business itself, in the possession of the family that owned the business, or at local archives, libraries, universities, and historical societies.
- State and national records: censuses; vital, property, and probate records; and wills. Copies of these records are often located in local government archives, as well as at local historical societies and libraries, which may have microfilm copies.
- Local government records: minutes of board meetings, tax assessment records, engineering and highway department records, police and court records, budgets and annual reports, and other types of records created by the local governments themselves. These records are usually located at individual local government units, such as school districts, towns, villages, counties, cities, fire districts, and public benefit corporations.
- Community organization records: correspondence, speeches, membership lists, financial records, and meeting minutes. Community organizations may include local churches, labor unions, political parties, service clubs, and philanthropic and fraternal groups. The records of these groups may be in the possession of each specific organization or located at local historical societies, archives, universities, and libraries.
- Students MUST use historical records (described in the bullets above), but they may also use published primary source materials to supplement their research. Published primary sources can include board minutes (for example, county board proceedings), broadsides, maps, annual reports, periodicals, or newspapers. Primary source materials can also include items contemporary to the period that is the subject of the research (for example, Godey’s Ladies’ Book to document 19th century fashion, crafts, recipes, etiquette, etc.; Harper’s Weekly to document the Civil War years; Life Magazine to document the WorldWar II years). All these primary source materials are generally located in special collections of libraries, historical societies, museums, universities, or local governments.