"Primary sources are the raw materials of history — original documents and objects which were created at the time under study." ("Using")*
"Secondary sources interpret or critique primary sources. They often include an analysis of the event that was discussed or featured in the primary source." ("What is")*
“A Definition of Primary Source.” Primary Source Village, University of Illinois, 23 Aug. 2008, www.library.illinois.edu/village/primarysource/mod1/pg1.
Hale, John. “A Modest Enquiry Into the Nature of Witchcraft .” Salem Witch Trials: Documentary Archive and Transcription Project, The University of Virginia, 2000, salem.lib.virginia.edu/archives/ModestEnquiry/ images.01/source/1.html.
“Using Primary Sources.” Library of Congress, www.loc.gov/teachers/usingprimarysources/.
“What Is a Secondary Source?” Easybib, Chegg, www.easybib.com/guides/students/research-guide/primary-secondary-tertiary-sources/c-what-is-a-secondary-source/.
|Primary Source Examples||Secondary Source Examples|
|Diary entries, letters, speeches||Books about specific topics|
|Articles, or personal effects/objects from a particular time period||Textbooks|
|Court Documents, census records, financial records, vital records etc.||Reference Sources|
|Oral interviews and first hand accounts||Scholarly analysis|
|Creative works, such as films, artwork, poetry etc.||Movie/play reviews|
|Photographs, Maps||Art critiques|
John Hale, 1702
You are doing research on the Black Death in Europe and come across a legal document from 1348 instructing people how to properly dispose of bodies infected by the plague. Would this document be considered a primary or secondary source?
Your teacher asked you to open your textbooks and read the introduction of Chapter 14, The Fall of Rome. Is this reading a primary or secondary source?
You volunteer at an elderly home once a week. A resident shows you some of the letters she received from a loved one fighting over seas in Germany during WWII. Would these letters be considered a primary or secondary source?