Library Blog

Primary Sources

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Student research is underway for the semester and primary sources are an essential piece to the research process.

A primary source is a first-hand account of an event or idea being researched; it is evidence. Primary sources can be letters, manuscripts, images, maps, visuals or audio.

According to the National Archives, "Primary sources fascinate students because they are real and they are personal; history is humanized through them."

Here we have crowd-sourced primary source content separated by category. To help simplify the process for our students, this page of the library Research Support libguide, we've congregated primary sources that can be found within our very own library databases.

And this page was designed to help you differentiate between a primary and secondary source and when can a secondary source be considered a primary.

We know this can all be a bit confusing but keep in mind the following quote from Princeton University Library: "A secondary source interprets and analyzes primary sources. These sources are one or more steps removed from the event."

Always remember to seek out a librarian. We are here to help you with your research, assist you in getting the materials you need and offer support.

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