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PRIMARY SOURCES GUIDE: What is a Primary Source?

What is a Primary Source?

A primary source is a document or other sort of evidence written or created during the time under study, or by one of the persons or organizations directly involved in the event. Primary sources offer an inside view of a particular event. Some types are:

  • Original Documents: Diaries, speeches, letters, minutes, interviews, news film footage, autobiographies, official records
  • Creative Works: Poetry, drama, novels, music, art, films
  • Relics or Artifacts: Jewelry, pottery, furniture, clothing, buildings, tools

Primary Sources in Subject Areas:

Using Primary Resources

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