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Examples of Primary Source Formats/Genres


Primary source example Artifacts – Painting titled “Rejection Letter” by Trinh Do, 1989 [from: Project Ngoc Records, 1978-1998. MS-SEA-016]. Trinh Do was labeled a dissident artist and imprisoned in Vietnam in 1988. After escaping from prison, he, his wife, and ten-year old son came to Hong Kong’s Whitehead Detention Center in 1989. Trinh Do painted this picture while waiting for his family’s status to be determined.
Primary source example Photographs – Wedding portrait of Clodomiro Sepulveda and Peregrina Rosa Yorba, 1885 [from: Orange County Californio Families Portrait Photograph Album. MS-R076]. Two descendents of the Sepulveda and Yorba families marry. Two historic ranchos from these families (Rancho San Joaquin and Rancho Lomas de Santiago) became part of the Irvine Ranch, established in 1876 by James Irvine I.
Primary source example Records – A drawing for a patent [from: Lynch, Gary. Tom Blake: the Uncommon Journey of a Pioneer Waterman. Corona del Mar, CA: Croul Family Foundation, 2001]. Tom Blake designed a hollow surfboard in 1931 that revolutionized surfing. Blake was a direct connection between surfing in Hawaii and the popularity of surfing in California that began before World War II and expanded after the war.
Primary source example Autobiographies – A controversial autobiography of a wife in a polygamist marriage [from: Young, Ann Eliza. Wife No. 19, or the Story of a Life in Bondage: Being a Complete Expose of Mormonism, and Revealing the Sorrows, Sacrifices and Sufferings on Women in Polygamy. Hartford, Conn.: Dustin, Gillman & Co., 1876].
Primary source example Journals - The overland journals of Edwin Bryant [from: What I Saw in California: Being the Journal of a Tour of the Emigrant Route and South Pass of the Rocky Mountains, Across the Continent of North America, the Great Desert Basin, and through California, in the Years 1846, 1847. Santa Ana, CA: Fine Arts Press, 1936]. Edwin Bryant was a journalist who arrived at Sutter’s Fort on Sept 1, 1847. His journals were an early authoritative source on California of the discovery period.
Primary source example Artifacts – Wine and liquor labels [from: Kuchel Family Papers [MS-R029]. The Kuchel Family of Anaheim published Orange County’s first newspaper, the Anaheim Gazette, for 90 years. Henry Kuchel, born in 1858, arrived in Anaheim in 1860 with his German immigrant family. The collection contains a variety of printed ephemera which provides a record of early Orange County business and cultural history. These are a sample of labels of early wineries and distilleries in Anaheim.
Primary source example Autobiographies – Autobiography of Josephine Baker and her years as an African-American dancer in France [from: Baker, Josephine. Une vie de Toutes les Couleurs. Grenoble: B. Arthaud, 1935.]

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