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DIY How To

Finding Primary Sources

What is a Primary Source?
Type of Source Definition Examples
Primary Source
  • eyewitness account of an event/place etc...
  • Letters
  • Diaries
  • Autobiographies

If you answer, “yes” to any of the following questions, there is a good chance the source is PRIMARY.

  • Did the author/creator personally witness or experience the subject in question?
  • Is this an artifact or relic such as jewelry, pottery, clothing, music, art, architecture, dance or weaponry that was used by witnesses of the subject in question?
  • Is this a compilation of raw scientific data or statistics, such as census statistics published by the U.S. Census Bureau, that is being published without commentary or interpretation?
Searching Online Sources

Try searching for these terms with your topic:

Sources Letters Journal
Diaries Speeches Autobiography
Documents Court Decisions Narratives
Correspondence Accounts Eyewitness

Looking for primary sources?  Check out the Great Websites Resource Guide