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International Studies: Primary Sources

What Are Primary Sources

Primary sources are first-hand accounts, original manuscripts, or records or documents produced at the time of the event.

  • Letters,
  • Photographs
  • Speeches
  • Interviews
  • Government documents
  • Historical records
  • Personal papers
  • Artwork
  • Diaries
  • Original reports on science experiments

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.


How to Cite Primary Sources

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.

Primary vs Secondary Sources

Video from Hartness Library

International Studies Primary Sources