As a college librarian, I often hear stressed-out students searching for primary sources say, "I'll take anything." Don't settle for just anything. There is a treasury of primary source material available electronically. Peruse my selection of 200-plus primary source sites by conducting a keyword search, exploring the tag cloud at left, or browsing by historical era. You can also visit my Delicious and Diigo sites to review my bookmarks. Here's hoping you find what you're looking for.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

When in doubt, try the Statistical Abstract

A student came to the desk looking for scholarly journal articles about young voters' impact on the 2008 presidential election.He found some relevant items, but wanted more numbers. We found them in the Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010. Right there in table 387 was just what he needed - the Democratic and Republican vote percentages for the 2004 and 2008 Presidential elections characterized by year of the voter's birth. This question (and answer) made me realize I've neglected to recommend this reference source to freshman history students as often as I could have.It's online, easy to search, and includes data dating back to 1878. So, history students, next time you're looking for historical data on the nation's population, labor force, crime, education or health, give it a look.

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