Primary Source: a document or physical object written or created during the time under study. They offer an inside view on an event.
- Original Documents such as a diary, speech, interview, official record, autobiography, newspaper articles from the time period being studied
- Creative Works such as poetry, novels, music, artwork.
- Relics or Artifacts such as pottery, furniture, clothes, buildings.
Secondary Source: interprets or analyzes primary sources. These are one or more steps removed from the event. They may have pictures quotes or graphics of primary sources in them.
- Publications such as textbooks, magazine articles, histories, criticisms, commentaries, encyclopedias.
Tertiary Source: compile and distill primary sources, secondary sources, or both.
- almanacs, encyclopedias, Wikipedia, index, bibliographies.
(Adapted from http://www.princeton.edu/~refdesk/primary2.html)
|an interview with Theodore Roosevelt||a book about Theodore Roosevelt|
|a short story||a literary criticism|
|an autobiography (written by the person the book is about)||a biography (written by someone else about a person)|
|a speech||commentary on a Booker T. Washington speech|
(Adapted from from two textbooks on source criticism, Olden-Jørgensen (1998) and Thurén (1997) written by historians and Wikipedia.)
Primary sources are sometimes collected and re-published as books. There are a number of these collections in the Library and you can use the catalog to search for them. Try a keyword search using words to describe your subject in combination with a term to describe the source.
Some terms that might work in combination with your subject are: correspondence; diary or diaries; interview or interviews; letters; speeches; personal narrative; memoirs; autobiography; laws; treaties; documents; maps; or papers.