Finding Primary Sources

Primary sources

These are simply first-hand accounts or original records of an event. Primary sources may include newspaper articles, diaries, letters, interviews, maps, government documents, oral histories, videos, illustrations, photographs, and more. A primary source may also be the result(s) of original research, including quantitative or qualitative data. Use the link list below to find primary sources for your topic, or visit our Primary Sources on the Internet page.

Secondary sources

These are resources that were created "after the fact" by persons who were not present at the actual event--they are simply reporting on information they have received "second hand". Secondary sources usually offer an analysis or interpretation of primary source materials. For example, most scholarly textbooks, reference sources like encyclopedias, and even scholarly articles would be considered secondary sources.


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