Primary sources are first-hand accounts, original manuscripts, or records or documents produced at the time of the event.
are some examples of primary sources. These may be available in their original form, or they may be reproduced or reprinted in another book or microform collection.
Citing primary sources correctly is an important part of studying primary sources, for a number of reasons.
It is important--and ethically necessary--to provide full credit to the creators and publishers of documents, and to allow future scholars to find the source quickly and correctly. Citing a primary source is also crucial to critical thinking and analysis because it requires that the student think carefully about where the source came from, who made it, and in what context the student first discovered it.
Video from Hartness Library
Examples of Primary and Secondary Sources
|Primary Source||Secondary Source|
|Art||original artwork||article critiquing the piece of art|
|History||slave diary||book about the Underground Railroad|
|Literature||poem||book or article on a particular genre of poetry|
|Political Science||treaty||essay on Native American land rights|
|Science or Social Sciences||report of an original experiment||review of several studies on the same topic|
|Theater||videotape of a performance||biography of a playwright|
United States documents produced by government agencies such as congressional documents, agency annual reports, and administrative reports are primary resources and provide a wealth of information about the history of the United States. Use the following links as additional sources for primary material.