College Final Paper


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Apr 26, 2005
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Hi, I am a freshman in college and for my final in history we have been instructed to analyze a primary source document as well as an original photograph from US History post 1871. As you may assume, I chose the Titanic. I have been searching the web but am having difficulty finding actual primary sources; so my question is does anyone know any places I could look for some? or are there any primary source documents that you know about that you think would be advantageous for me to skim through? any help would be excellent! thank you so much!
 

Jason D. Tiller

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Aug 20, 2000
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Hello Sydney,

Welcome aboard! Another great primary source is microfilm. If you live near a library that has it, then you might be interested in reading the accounts from the newspapers of the day. They are very fascinating to read and I've gotten a lot of terrific information from them, that I wouldn't have found anywhere else.

All the best with your paper.
 
Apr 26, 2005
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Those are great, thank you so much. the microfilm actually sounds interesting even if i don't get a source from it, i would assume the university library would have it too, ill have to check it out.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
Sydney, just a word to the wise on the matter of newspaper accounts: They aren't nesseccerily all that reliable or trustworthy. The media then was often as eager to be play fancy and footloose with the facts as any tabloid you'll find on todays supermarket checkstands. However, such accounts will give you some insights as to where a lot of the popular mythology surrounding the Titanic started if you dig deep enough.

Good luck on your paper.
 

Dave Gittins

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Mar 16, 2000
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Sydney, you don't say how long your paper must be. To cover some of the primary sources, such as the US inquiry, in detail requires a fair size book. It's about 1,000 pages long.

You might like to look at the US immigration records from Ellis Island. They are genuine primary material and tell much about the survivors. You could look at where they came from, the means they had and their contacts in the US. Other US material from the press will help reveal US attitudes to the survivors, ranging from the generous help given by many New Yorkers to the racist treatment of the Chinese survivors under the Chinese Exclusion Act. There's a lot in that area that has not been covered in any detail, such as the work of the relief fund organised under the mayor of New York's name.
 
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