Primary Sources

Need an Article the Library Does Not Have? Order with InterLibrary Loan (ILL)!

Are you researching for a paper, and you find that the Library does not have the article (or other resource) you would like to use? Click on this tutorial to learn how to request an article through the Library’s InterLibrary Loan (ILL) service! If you need further assistance, do not hesitate to Ask a Librarian for help.

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Ruby Bridge: A Profile in Courage

On May 14, Ruby Bridge, a Civil Rights icon of the 60s, spoke at a luncheon sponsored by Chicago Metro Achievement Center for Girls (a group that tutors and mentors intercity girls). Her message was filled with dignity and optimism. She discussed her historical journey of being the first African American child to integrate at an all-white school in New Orleans in 1960.

Norman Rockwell, a famous American illustrator, painted his interpretation of Ruby’s first day at school.



The painting is a powerful image of a brave little girl facing danger and hatred. Rockwell titled the painting, The Problem We All Live With.

Mrs. Bridge summarized her speech by stating, “We should never look at another person and judge them by the color their skin. That is the lesson I learned in first grade.”

The MVCC library has placed an order for a copy of Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges. Meanwhile, check out the Civil Rights material in the Moraine Library.


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Officialness and The Torture Report

In case you missed it, last week the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released the Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program, also known as the Torture Report. So, for all you political junkies and civics geeks out there, you might be interested in having a copy of it.

Now the cool thing about everything published by Congress, or for that matter the government in general, is that it is supposed to be in the public domain. You may have a copy of this report for free, if you would like it in a digital format. It also means that if you have access to a printing press, you can also print it yourself and charge for it. The publisher Melville House is rushing the book into print, and it will hit store shelves on December 30. Amazon has already published a Kindle version of the book and has it on sale currently for $9.99. But, for the connoisseur, you can purchase the official government printed edition from the Government Publishing Office for $29.00.

If you are downloading a free version from the Internet, you should make sure you get the official copy. You can check for any digital government document’s “officialness” using Adobe Reader. Official stamp denoting an unmodified government documentLook for the certificate stamp on page 1 of any government document downloaded from the internet. If it is there, this means it is an official copy, and you have confirmation that the document has not modified in any way.

The Library already has a number of official reports like this from congress. These items are especially useful if you need Primary Sources for a research paper. Look for items in our catalog denoted as an “E-Resource”. Our collection is especially strong on the topics of, foreign affairs and especially the Middle East, the environment, cybersecurity, veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

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Get the Facts on Ebola

There has been some good news about Ebola in the U.S. this week, but of course the outbreak is still ongoing in western Africa. As you know, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are at the front lines in combating the spread of this virus in the U.S. and in Africa. Meanwhile, the National Institutes of Health are researching how to prevent Ebola (and other infections) from spreading. Both of these are parts of the Federal Government, and as such most of their research and information is free and open to the public. Below, is a list of articles and fact-sheets produced by these government agencies. So, you can get all the facts about Ebola directly from the source:

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Crash Course in Government

Since the State of the Union is one of the few times of the year people pay attention to politics, you might want to brush up on your  civicsben_chalkboard_k2. For this I would recommend Ben’s Guide to the U.S. Government. Yes, it is for kids, but that makes it especially easy and quick to read.

So, for instance the entry on the State of the Union reads:

The State of the Union is an annual address presented before a joint session of Congress. It is required by Article II, Section 3, U.S. Constitution

And in case you missed it, you can read the official transcript of the 2014 State of the Union, or watch it on

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Available on GPO’s Federal Digital System: Senate Resolutions

Authorizing Military Force Against Syria

Promoting a Diplomatic Solution for Syria

The situation in Syria and the United States’ response are rapidly evolving. But you can follow what the government is deciding thanks to the Government Printing Office and your Library.

As the U.S. Congress debates the United States’ potential use of military force against Syria for the use of chemical weapons, the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) makes the authentic, digital version of the Senate resolution available on the agency’s Federal Digital System (FDsys). As reported by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on September 6, the resolution’s title is: S. J. Res. 21 PCS, Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against the Government of Syria to Respond to Use of Chemical Weapons. GPO authenticated the document by digital signature. This signature assures the public that the document has not been changed or altered. A digital signature, viewed through the GPO Seal of Authenticity, verifies the document’s integrity and authenticity.

And as you know from the President’s speech on Tuesday evening, there is hopefully a diplomatic solution in the works. The Senate  passed a resolution about that on Tuesday as well.

September 6, 2013: Senate Joint Resolution 21 : To authorize the limited and specified use of the United States Armed Forces against Syria.

September 10, 2013: Senate Joint Resolution 22 : To promote a diplomatic solution in Syria, and for other purposes.

Available on GPO’s Federal Digital System: Senate Resolutions Read More »

Read Primary Documents from America’s Founders

Here’s a cool site that our history students and faculty may be useful. It is Founders Online, which is a new site from the US National Archives. This site is a great source for primary documents written by the founders of the United States.

Here’s the description from the website:

The National Archives, through its National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), has entered into a cooperative agreement with The University of Virginia Press to create this site and make freely available online the historical documents of the Founders of the United States of America.

Through this website, you will be able to read and search through thousands of records from George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison and see firsthand the growth of democracy and the birth of the Republic.

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