Skip to Main Content
Research Guides@TCC Libraries

Western Civilization & World History Research Guide



Primary Research- the original materials, data sets, and statistics on which other research is based. (Health Sciences, Sciences, and Engineering) Definition: University of Minnesota Libraries

Primary Source-  the original documents and first-hand evidence written during the time that the historical event was occurring. (History, Humanities, Social Sciences)

Secondary Source- materials (book or article) that provide a summary, discussion, or analysis of the primary sources.

Examples of Primary Sources


  court decisions, diaries/memoirs, eye-witness accounts, government     documents, letters, newspapers, pamphlets, statistics, treaties, vital records   (birth certificates, naturalization records, marriage licenses, etc.)


  interviews, music, sermons, speeches


  drawings, films, maps, paintings, photographs, political cartoons, posters

artifacts (or relics)

  clothing, furniture, inventions, pottery, sculpture, tools

Content created by TCC Libraries is licensed as CC BY 4.0