Over the next few weeks, we'll be sharing research resources for students to use to further their research for History Day. Please feel free to share your resources with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
It should also be noted that students need to look beyond the results produced by their favorite search engine. Not only does the Internet provide multiple free search engines (all of which may produce different results), but there are also research databases and reliable websites that may direct students to some of their most rewarding finds. A small sample of these resources include ConnecticutHistory.org (https://connecticuthistory.org/), the National Archives (https://www.archives.gov/), the Connecticut State Library (https://ctstatelibrary.org/), the Connecticut Digital Archive (https://ctdigitalarchive.org/), the Library of Congress (https://www.loc.gov/), and the Smithsonian Institute (https://www.si.edu/). Additional local resources can be found at museums, historical societies, and at history and heritage organizations across Connecticut.
- Who is the author (or sponsoring organization)?
- What might have been the author’s intention for writing this piece?
- Is the author trying to sway a reader’s opinion by writing this?
- Are there any potential biases or conflicts of interest involved in this particular author writing about this particular topic?
- Has this information been subjected to a review process prior to publication? If so, by who?
- Are there references provided so that the information presented in the work can be verified?
- How might the time and place in which this resource was published possibly affect its content?
Lastly, a student should be able to verify a “fact” in multiple resources. It is important to get information from several different sources offering varying perspectives and not just rely on the “loudest” voice on the Internet.
Gregg Mangan is an author, historian, and the managing editor of the ConnecticutHistory.org project at Connecticut Humanities.