How to Look for Evidence

Historians look for evidence from the past to figure out how and why things happened the way they did.

The evidence comes from primary sources–the things that people created at that time and place in history.

Historians use many different types of primary sources. Here are just a few examples:

Things that are written:

  1. Newspapers/magazines
  2. Letters
  3. Documents

Things that are images:

  • Photographs
  • Maps
  • Drawings

Things that have audio or video:

  • Radio
  • Film
  • Television

Things that people made or used:

  • Tools
  • Clothing
  • Art

Things that are spoken:

  • Oral traditions are memorized, spoken narratives that pass down histories and teachings from one generation to the next. Oral traditions are important primary sources for Native American peoples.
  • Oral histories are spoken interviews with people about their experiences. The interviews are usually audio recorded and then transcribed (which means typed out).

A great job learning how to search for primary sources! Now you are ready to analyze historical evidence! Click Next to move forward. Return to the History Investigators homepage here.

Keep Exploring!

Visit Step Two: How to Analyze Evidence here.
Return to the History page here.
Return to the I Love Utah History home page here.