Answered By: Liz Svoboda
Last Updated: Mar 09, 2016     Views: 102

Primary sources are documents, physical objects, and data that were created by the a person experiencing an event or conducting an experiment. They are often created while the event is occurring or shortly afterwards.

Some examples of primary sources are

  • diaries and letters
  • academic articles reporting NEW data and findings
  • works of literature (poems, novels, plays, etc.)
  • works of fine art (paintings, sculpture, pottery, music etc.)
  • official records from a government, judicial court, or company
  • maps
  • oral histories
  • speeches
  • autobiographies
  • fictional films and documentaries

Newspapers articles that report on a recent event can be primary sources, but articles that rehash previous events are not primary sources, unless they add new information to the story.

For more information see our guides:

Identifying Information Sources: http://libguides.umflint.edu/idinfosources/primarysecondary

Primary Sources for Historical Research: http://libguides.umflint.edu/primarysources

 

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