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SSI1-137: Una Descarga Latina: A History of Latino Popular Culture in the U.S.: Argument (Secondary Sources)

Types of Secondary Sources

Secondary sources can be popular or scholarly.

Popular secondary sources report on or provide commentary on topics of interest to a general audience, with the aim of entertaining or informing. 

Books can be a type of popular secondary source.  Books written for a general audience typically avoid overly specialized language, and lack the "scholarly apparatus" of notes and bibliographies.

Magazines (both print and digital) are a common types of popular secondary sources.  Examples include Newsweek, Latina, Slate, Harper's, New Yorker, etc.

Newspapers (print and digital) are another type of popular secondary source. 

Trade journals are a special type of popular secondary source in that they provide information to a specialist, but not scholarly audience.  Some common examples include publications such as American Libraries for librarians, and The Advocate for lawyers.

Scholarly secondary sources present carefully researched and written arguments in which scholars analyze primary source materials and place their own arguments within the larger scholarly conversation.  Scholarly secondary sources undergo a serious peer-review process prior to being published.

Books (monographs) are a type of scholarly secondary source.

Articles published in scholarly journals are the most common form of scholarly communication.


Recommended Databases

When you research topics in popular culture, you'll often need to consult both popular and scholarly secondary sources.  The following databases will help you identify both types of secondary sources.

Searching for Books

Books, whether popular or scholarly, can be helpful for placing your chosen artist within a larger context. 

One good strategy is to search Google Books for your artist's name to see where her or his name pops up.  Note the title of the book and then search for that book in Primo, the catalog for books available in Collins Library or one of the other 38 academic libraries in the SUMMIT system.

Start Your Research NOW!

As you search for relevant secondary sources, you'll likely need to request at least a few sources from other libraries.  Start your research now so that these materials have time to get to you.

Articles requested through interlibrary loan (Tipasa) typically arrive in digital format in just a few days, but can take longer.

Books requested from another SUMMIT library take about three to five business (Monday through Friday) days to arrive.  You can request books by signing into Primo.

Books ordered from libraries outside of the SUMMIT system can take up to two weeks to arrive.

Collins Library and the other SUMMIT libraries are academic libraries, meaning that they tend to hold more scholarly sources. Popular sources often are more likely to be held by public libraries.  University of Puget Sound students are eligible to obtain Tacoma Public Library cards.  There is a TPL branch in the Proctor district (Wheelock) as well as a larger collection at the Main Library downtown.