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Course: History 1 Mexico: Finding secondary sources

What is a secondary source?

A secondary source is one that was created after the event by someone who wasn't there. Examples include books, journals, magazines and websites. When looking for books you can use ones that you get in physical form or eBooks. Using the tips and link on this page will help you find both types of books.

It isn't one that is secondary in importance!

Finding books

In libraries:

UHS Library

We have a large selection of books about Mexico in our library. You can place a hold on them or send an email to and we will send you information about how to collect your books.

Though we have many books about Mexico however we cannot cover the breadth that public libraries can cover. If you find a book at the SFPL or your local library, you can usually reserve it and pick it up on site.



Open source books

Open Library

Open Library is a free site, although you will need to create an account to be able to download books. Most of these books are older, but it might be worth looking at if your topic is pre-20th century.

Google Books

Be careful! Not all books in Google Books are full text, but you can use this to check if it's worth requesting from the library.

Tips for finding secondary sources

While you're reading your reference article and primary source, keep a list of keywords to search for.

Try broad terms eg Immigration and narrow terms eg Border patrol

Limit the number of terms in a search string. Too many (e.g.Mexican labor on railways 20th century) may not yield much.

Look at the bibliography at the end of the reference article - those might be good sources.

Finding journals and magazines

The best place to look for journals and magazine articles for your research paper is through the UHS library databases (a database is an organized collection of pre-selected resources):‚Äč

SFPL resources

You will need an SFPL library card and PIN to access these resources. Ask a UHS librarian if you need to get one.


What is a secondary source?