The Importance of Primary Resources

One of our readers, former Davenporter Brendan Wolfe, wrote to share an interesting story about the only known newspaper interview with Bix Beiderbecke, which was published in the Davenport Democrat on February 10, 1929.

Bix Beiderbecke is always interesting, at least to us—and certainly to Mr. Wolfe, who is writing a book on our favorite native jazz musician—but the interview itself is intriguing.  Not only because it’s the only one, but because it may have been plagiarized.

Mr. Wolfe has written a blog post of his own about this, and as we wouldn’t want to be accused of plagiarism ourselves, please read the original here.  We’ll wait.

We would like to point out that this sort of thing is precisely why primary resources are so important, and why it is essential for researchers to trace information to its origin point, as Mr. Wolfe is doing.  

 Things are not always what they seem, even in primary resources like early newspapers—some reporters, hoping to attract readers, may have (ahem)  ‘jazzed up’ their articles a tad.

We’d also like to thank Mr. Wolfe and invite all of our readers to share any fascinating historical stories of local interest—supported by primary sources, of course!

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One Response to The Importance of Primary Resources

  1. Michael says:

    This is a good piece of detective work by Mr. Wolfe. All his findings do seem to indicate the interview was a fake.

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