Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

History Resources

Distinguishing between sources

"Basically, primary sources are the contemporary accounts of events created by individuals during that period of time or several years later (such as correspondence, diaries, memoirs and personal histories). These original records can be found in several media such as print, artwork, and audio and visual recording. Examples of primary sources include manuscripts, newspapers, speeches, cartoons, photographs, video, and artifacts. Primary sources can be described as those sources that are closest to the origin of the information. They contain raw information and thus, must be interpreted by researchers.

Secondary sources are closely related to primary sources and often interpret them. These sources are documents that relate to information that originated elsewhere. Secondary sources often use generalizations, analysis, interpretation, and synthesis of primary sources. Examples of secondary sources include textbooks, articles, and reference books."
(From Difference Between Primary and Secondary)

Understand the difference between primary and secondary sources in History