Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Ralph Bunche Summer Institute
Primary and Secondary Sources: What's the Difference?
This website has a variety of resources related to the events in Detroit in 1967, including the Kerner Commission Report
, scholarly articles, photographs and more.
12th Street Detroit
This online exhibit explores the history of Detroit’s 1967 Civil Unrest through the deliberate and transparent use of primary sources located at the Reuther Library at Wayne State University.
Virtual Motor City
A collection of digital images from the Detroit News, Reuther Archives and Wayne State libraries. Use the menus and scroll bars on the left to browse this collection.
Stories about Detroit from Democracy Now! an independent news source.
Check for Previous Work: Do two separate sources confirm the original report? Are the sources unbiased and independent?
Go Upstream: Find the source of the original report (statistics, journal, government site, newspaper). Is it reputable?
Read Laterally: Read other reports of the same story. Are they from different sources? Do they confirm or conflict with original report?
Circle Back: Go back to check for previous work when the source is not trustworthy, or a presented statement or fact has become complex, or there are multiple sub-claims. Try a new search of different fact checking sites or find alternate sources.
Adapted from: Caulfield, M. A. (2017). Web literacy for student fact checkers. Pressbooks: Simple Book Productions. Retrieved from https://webliteracy.pressbooks.com/front-matter/web-strategies-for-student-fact-checkers
Suggestions for searching
Detroit discrimination housing
Detroit social change
Detroit culture politics
Detroit race relations
Detroit police relations
Detroit environmental justice
Gale Virtual Reference Library This link opens in a new window
Gale Virtual Reference Library is a database of encyclopedias and specialized reference sources for multidisciplinary research. Search Detroit Michigan as a starting point.
Images of America This link opens in a new window
This set of local history books includes an entire series on the City of Detroit, landmarks, history, ethnic groups, African American history, architecture and more. Use the Search on the grey bar, and include Detroit in the place box.
Detroit Free Press Historical Full-Text (1831-1922) This link opens in a new window
Detroit Free Press Historical has full text of articles from to 1831-1922.
Articles from 1923 through 1998 are not available digitally--you would need to use microfilm. Microfilm is an old but stable technology used to preserve printed materials. At Wayne State University, you can use microfilm readers in the Purdy/Kresge library to read and save (to PDF) materials that are available on microfilm.
Beyond Google: Hidden Sites
Detroit Journalism Cooperative
The Detroit Journalism Cooperative is a partnership of five media outlets, which includes The Center for Michigan’s Bridge Magazine, Detroit Public Television (DPTV), Michigan Radio, WDET, New Michigan Media and Chalkbeat Detroit a partnership of ethnic and minority newspapers.
Digital Public Library of America
This site provides access to digital images, text and more from archives, museums and libraries across the United States.
Beyond Google: Michigan Electronic Library (MeL)
Search 15 diverse collections which span many aspects of Michigan history.
Beyond Google: Wayne State Library Databases and ebooks
Detroit History: ebooks
A list of ebooks available through the Wayne State University libraries on Detroit history.
America: history and life This link opens in a new window
Search "michigan history" as a source to find articles from Michigan History magazine. Full text is available from 1998 to present.
The 1967 Detroit Riots by
Call Number: ebook
Publication Date: 2013
This volume from Perspectives on Modern World History provides a brief overview of the major factors that contributed to the events in Detroit from July 23-27, 1967.
The Origins of the Urban Crisis by
Call Number: ebook
Publication Date: 2014
In this reappraisal of America's racial and economic inequalities, Thomas Sugrue asks why Detroit and other industrial cities have become the sites of persistent racialized poverty. Weaving together the history of workplaces, unions, civil rights groups, political organizations, and real estate agencies, Sugrue finds the roots of today's urban poverty in a hidden history of racial violence, discrimination, and deindustrialization that reshaped the American urban landscape after World War II.