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History 359: History of Brazil

Resources and assistance in researching the history of Brazil and creating an annotated bibliography.

Welcome to research in Brazil and its history!

Descobrimento do Brasil [Discovery of Brazil], Oscar Pereira da Silva, [19?]. National Library of Brazil. Iconography Division. Library of Congress.

Welcome to your History 359 course guide!  Please explore the various links on the left side of this page to find books, ebooks, journal articles, and more resources essential to successful research. 

As no guide will include every possible resource you need for your specific topic, do not hesitate to reach out for help from me or your professor. You see my contact information to the right with email and chat options. If you have a complex question or need to search multiple resources, we will set up an appointment via Zoom. 

We may be doing everything remotely but that should not stop you from finding the primary and secondary sources essential to a good project.

Key Concepts that apply to all history research:

  • Use appropriate terminology (World War I was the "Great War" at the time since we didn't know there would be a second world war.)
  • Ethnic and racial group references have transformed over time (e.g., Native Americans has replaced the term Indians. Indians is now reserved in scholarly works to refer to South Asians from the nation of India.) 
  • Time periods can be 'slushy' so try to be fairly broad ("19th century" instead of 1849-1879) unless you are looking at a specific event such as the Mexican Revolution. 
  • Non-English alphabets may be translated into English with a number of variant spellings. 
  • Geographic names can change over time (Myanmar used to be Burma.) 
  • Primary sources demonstrate the stereotypes and prejudices of the time, especially in the popular press or during times of conflict. 
  • Propaganda or materials created by those in power are biased and frequently distorts facts against those not in power.
  • Give appropriate credit in your citation and comply with usage restrictions. 
    • Most sources allow use for educational purpose as long as cited or a particular condition is met. See Zapatistas! Anti-copyright statement and Creative Commons as examples.) 
    • Some sources will clearly state they cannot be used without a fee (e.g., Getty Images)
    • The information or image must be from the original source (NOT Wikipedia, Pinterest or Google Images...) 
  • Be a critical consumer, just because it is the first link does not mean it is the best. 

Primary vs. Secondary Sources

A primary source is an original source created at the time of the event by someone who participated in the event or directly observed it.

Example: A photograph dated 1911 of women soldiers of the Mexican Revolution is a primary source since the photograph was taken during the Revolution. 



A secondary source is created afterward, often to analyze and interpret the past. Secondary sources often use primary sources as a resource.

Example: A woodcut of Adelitas (women revolutionaries) created in 2010, while it may look old, is not primary and should not be used. The only time the woodcut could be used as a primary source would be if you were writing a paper on the modern representation of women who fought during that war. This would be a paper on how memory alters or romanticizes the past and as that is not the point of this project in this class, so do not use it.