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History: Primary and Secondary Sources

Primary Sources vs. Secondary Sources

A primary source is a document or physical object which was written or created during the time under study.  These sources provide direct or firsthand evidence about an event.

Examples of primary sources include the following: (click on a type of source to see an example)
- Letters  - Diaries
- Newspapers  - Speeches
- Personal Narratives  - Correspondence
- Interviews  - Memoirs
- Photographs  - Video Recordings
- Documents  - Archives

A secondary source interprets and analyzes primary sources.  These sources were created at a later time than the event being studied. 

Examples of secondary sources include:
-Biographies -Literary Criticisms
-Monographs -Reviews
-Most Journal Articles -Most Published Books
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