What is a Primary Source?
Primary sources offer an inside view of a particular event. They can be original records or objects created by participants and observers during the time the event occurred or shortly thereafter.
How to Use Primary Sources
General Examples of Primary Sources
- Original documents: autobiographies, diaries, e-mail, interviews, letters, minutes, news film footage, official records, photographs, raw research data, speeches, personal narratives, sources, memoirs, letters, dispatches, interviews, pamphlets, diaries, speeches, translations
- Creative works: art, drama, films, music, novels, poetry
- Relics or artifacts: buildings, clothing, DNA, furniture, jewelry, pottery
Specific Examples of Primary Sources
Plato's Republic - justice and philosophy in ancient Greece
The Declaration of Independence - U. S. history
The Diary of Anne Frank - experiences of Jews in World War II
Film footage of the assassination of President J. F. Kennedy - U.S. History