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Environmental History: Home

Resources relevant to the historical study of our environment with an emphasis on North America

How to Reach Me


Ed is available to assist students with their research needs through the Libraries' dedicated subject liaison program.  Ed is on the Tempe campus.  His office address is Hayden Library, C1T. Telephone: (480) 965-4579 or email: edding@asu.edu-- please feel free to make an appointment  I look forward to seeing you!

Getting Started

Best Places to Get Started

Welcome to the Environmental History Library Guide.  The best way to navigate through through this site is by using the tabs at the top of each page.  Let me give a brief explanation as to how each section is organized and what it contains.  Let's start with:

ASU Databases  This section primarily consists of databases that index and in some cases provide full text access to  to resources that will aid in research in  Environmental History.  With few exceptions, these databases are accessible off-campus only to the current ASU community(students, faculty and staff).  The sub-tabs under this heading are more specific subject areas or categories of materials.  

Primary Sources  "Real" history is written using primary sources.  Through the internet, it is now possible to gain access to a huge wealth of primary source material that in the past would have been available only through visiting libraries and archives.  The Primary Sources page is divided into two main categories: resources available through ASU Library and sites freely available on the Internet.  The Primary Sources page concludes with a section on how to evaluate primary sources on the Internet.

Web Resources  The web sites on this page are all available on the internet and do not necessarily fit into any of the other categories.  

Citing Sources  Collected here are several links for sites relating to citation manual sources and to RefWorks.

Historical Newspapers and Periodicals  This tab provides links to a variety of historical newspaper and retrospective periodical resources for North America, UK and beyond. 

What are Primary Sources

Primary sources are the historical documents used by historians as evidence. Examples of primary sources include diaries, personal journals, government records, court records, property records, newspaper articles, military reports, military rosters, and many other things.

In contrast, a secondary source is the typical history book which may discuss a person, event or other historical topic. A good secondary source uses primary sources as evidence.

The key to determining whether an item may be considered to be a primary source is to ask how soon after the event was the information recorded. This can be a problem with an autobiography, memoir, reminiscence, etc. if the author is working several years with only the memory of what happened. Your history professor will disallow most or all of these as primary sources.   However, the rule of thumb should always be:  if you're not sure whether something is an acceptable primary source, ask your professor.

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