Archival Primary Source Summary and Analysis (1115 words)

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Step 1: Develop a Research Question
Your preliminary research question can be one sentence. Your research question should seek to discover what these artifacts from the past indicate about the values, beliefs, or behaviors of the authors or audiences of the time. Avoid research questions that are about the kinds of straightforward facts that could be answered by referencing an encyclopedia. For example, rather than ask “Where did these people travel to?” you might ask “What interested them about the places they visited?” What did they think was worth noticing? What values or beliefs can be inferred from their interests?

Start your research by looking closely at the archival material. What do you find surprising or strange? Do you notice patterns among objects? How are they similar and/or different? Begin by simply making detailed observations, and let your focus or research question arise out of that material.
As always, your question will evolve as you conduct your research.
Your historical research will be a synchronic analysis, which asks what a particular artifact or phenomenon as it exists at a single point in time tells us about people’s beliefs, values, or experiences at that time. Avoid making arguments that compare objects of the past to what you are familiar with in the present.

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Source A: Travelers at the Great Sphinx at Gizeh. 1900-1909. Photograph. Mcclung Museum of Natural History and Culture, Knoxville. Nov. 12, 2015.
1. What is this object?
The object is a photograph of the Ardigier family at the Great Sphinx at Gizeh, Egypt.
2. When was the source made (if this information is known) and/or collected?
This source is dated between 1900 and 1909.
3. Who made it? (If this information is not available, write “N/A.”)
4. Who collected it?
The picture was collected by Louis B. Ardigier and Eleanor Deane Swan Ardigier. The Ardigiers were strong patrons of the art who came from Knoxville. They donated this photograph to McClung museum of nature history and culture in Knoxville along with more than 5000 art objects, photographs and postcards.
5. Describe the object in specific detail:
This photograph shows three western men and five nomads in front of great Sphinx and a pyramid near Cairo in Egypt. The three men are sitting on the backs of 3...
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