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History 390: Hiroshima

About the topic

The bombing of Hiroshima was an event without precedent in the history of humanity. Students will be researching and writing about:

  • What happened there in the summer of 1945
  • What led to this event
  • How and why people have tried to make sense of this tragic event.

During this library instruction session we will:

  • Review the Drake Library website and the use of databases
  • Demonstrate  the use of Worldcat and submitting an Interlibrary Loan for materials not owned by Drake Library
  • Review digital resources available through our streaming media sites
  • Talk about primary sources and some places to find them, including the New York Times and other newspapers
  • How to use Google to search for primary source materials 

Newspapers as primary sources

Newspapers can be onsidered a primary source if you are looking at the time period during which an event occurred. Despite the high connectivity of today's resources, it can be difficult to get access to newspapers online. One reason for this is publishers would make no money if their paper was freely available on the web. Two resources that may yield some good infomration are:

  • New York Times Historical Archive This resource indexes the newspaper from 1857 - 2003. As one of the most influential papers in the country, the Times will have a great deal of information about the bombing and its aftermath
  • NYS  Historic Newspapers indexes smaller "local" newspapers, and many of them cover the time period that you are researching.

If you perform a Google search for Japanese newspapers, you will get many results, but when you click on the results they may not lead you to an actual newspaper. However, if you find a library that holds a collection of the paper, you may be able to request through Interlibrary Loan, a copy of the front page of the newspaper from  the day after the bombing, for example:

  • Japanese Historical Newspapers held by the University of Illinois Libraries. If you click on the link to one of the papers that was publishing during the time period, you can put an Interlibrary Loan Request through Drake Library, and specify that you want the front page of the newpaper.


Last Updated: Oct 17, 2023 1:58 PM