A primary source is a first-hand account of an event or time period that was created by the participants or observers. Primary sources enable historians to stand as close to the past as possible without actually being present at the event.
Examples of primary sources include:
- Original documents such as letters, manuscripts, diaries, speeches
- Autobiographies & memoirs
- Artifacts from researched time period such as clothing, tools, etc.
- Records from governmental agencies & non-governmental organizations
- Photographs and other audio-visual materials
- Newspaper articles & books that are contemporaneous to the time under study
- Court cases
Guide to Primary Sources (below)