Browse Primary Sources
Locate primary sources, including images, objects, media, and texts. Annotations by scholars contextualize sources.

Anonymous Portrait

This image depicts an unnamed man with a mustache. It dates from approximately 1880, according to the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia de México, where it resides. The exact origin of this image, or its connection to nineteenth-century Mexican life, remains unclear. However, the document leaves several clues to the identity of the subject.

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Eusebio Planas's comic strip "La Historía de una Mujer"

Competitive Journalism

The modern world of journalism and news is a competitive one. To attract readers, newspapers publishing in the same places try to appear unique. Some, like this edition of the New York Post rely on sensationalized headlines and lurid stories to try to catch the reader's eye.

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Early Eastman Kodak Advertisement from 1900

Kodak Advertisement

When one evaluates a newspaper or a magazine as a source of information, the question of the intended audience almost always comes up. Who was this newspaper intended for? Who actually subscribes to this magazine? One way to answer such questions is through an analysis of advertisements.

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The Times of India masthead from September 28, 2017

The Times of India Masthead

When approaching newspapers as a source for information, several key questions arise: When and where was the newspaper published? What kind of reader was it intended to reach? Did it have local competitors? What were its political affiliations? In other words, a newspaper's context is important to understanding the newspaper itself.

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New York Time's reports on Eva Peron's death in Argentina in 1952

Newspaper report on Eva Peron's Death

Although newspapers are a popular way to locate facts related to a specific event, because they attempt to cover events as they unfold or before they even have all the relevant information, newspapers often include factual errors and always reflect a point of view. Newspaper reports are frequently incomplete, biased, and/or inaccurate.

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La Exaltación de la Santa Cruz Mission

Founded in 1791, the La Exaltación de la Santa Cruz Mission was a Spanish colonial church in Santa Cruz, California. The objective of this institution was the evangelization of the nearby indigenous communities. They included the following peoples: Ohlone, Costanoan, Miwok, and Yokuts.

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Misión Santa Clara de Asís

Located today on the Santa Clara University campus in Santa Clara University, the Mission Santa Clara de Asís was originally founded in 1777. Like many other missions nearby, it was created by Francsican missionaries with the permission of the Spanish Crown. These institutions aimed to convert the native peoples to Catholicism and teach them Spanish ways of life.

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Misión Santa Inés

Founded in 1804, the Santa Inés Mission was a church complex designed to convert the local native communities to Catholicism and teach them Spanish ways of living and working. By the time of its establishment, there were already eighteen other missions in California alone, in addition to the dozens of others throughout the modern-day US Southwest.

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Old Mission Santa Barbara

This historic church complex belonged to Spain’s network of missions throughout not only California, but also across the region that today makes up the US-Mexico border. It was established in 1786 and named to honor the specific day of its founding (December 4th), which is dedicated to the Feast of Santa Barbara. By this time, California already had nine other missions in operation.

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Wooden Printing Press, c. 1750

Printing Press

Although a wooden printing press seems old-fashion in the 21st century, its invention in the 18th century revolutionized communication through the rapid increase and accessibility of information. Print began with individual metal letters placed by hand in special grids. The letters were inked and then paper was pressed on one sheet at a time.

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