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SSI2-142: Pirates: Exhibit (primary) Sources

Primary Sources

Primary sources are the "raw materials" of scholarship. In humanities disciplines, including history, a primary source:

  • Is anything produced by humans during the time period under consideration:
    • Texts, whether published (books, articles, patents, transcripts) or unpublished (diaries, notes, manuscripts);
    • Imaginative work, such as paintings, music, movies, or novels;
    • Visual resources, such as photographs or newsreels;
    • Sound recordings
    • Material culture, such as scientific instruments, clothing, or ships

In class, you'll be working in small groups with each of these five sets of primary source materials.  As you work with these sources, think about and discuss the following questions:

1) Select one primary source in each group to look at in depth.  Who wrote it?  Where was it published?  When was it published? If it's a physical object, does the experience of holding and touching it help you interpret it? What kinds of research questions does it raise?  What do you want to know more about? 

2)  With others in your group, discuss each primary source in relationship with each other.  What kinds of research questions arise when you consider them together?  What kinds of questions can these primary sources NOT answer?

3) Now put these primary sources in conversation with other primary sources, including ones at other tables or that you've read together as a class.  What combinations of primary source types might be particularly interesting or intriguing when you consider them in combination?


Pirates in 20th/21st-century Children's Literature

Use the following Library of Congress Subject Heading (LCSH) to identify many additional titles:

Pirates -- juvenile literature

Use this database to find articles published in contemporary children's magazines:

Barry, Kate. "The Pirate Code." Historicool Magazine no. 17 (October 2015): 24.

Music & Performing Arts

Interested in more like this?  Try these databases:

Pirates in the News

Interested in more like this?  Try these databases: