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Primary Sources: Home

What are Primary Sources?

Primary sources are the first hand evidence left behind by participants or observers at the time of events. Primary sources originate in the time period that you are studying.

Types of Primary Sources


Newspapers, magazines, court decisions, letters, diaries/journals, government documents, treaties, memoirs, autobiographies, maps, posters, eye witness accounts, statistics, cartoons, emails, transcripts, digital book collections, personal records, vital records

Oral Recordings of interviews, music, speeches
Visual   Photography, film, paintings, drawings, maps
Relics or Artifacts Clothing, furniture, tools, inventions, pottery, crafts, coins, sculpture

Subject Guide

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Ruth Shumate
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