Skip to main content

Primary Sources: What is a Primary Source?

A guide to using primary sources for your research.

Dictionary Definitions

Primary source is a term used in a number of disciplines to describe source material that is closest to the person, information, period, or idea being studied.

From Wikipedia

Primary Sources: materials directly related to the past by time or participation—things created in the past by people living at the time. Primary sources include photographs, prints, paintings, documents, advertisements, music and film, letters, newspaper articles, and objects.

From Teaching History

Other pages on this guide

Information and tools included on this guide are organized onto these tabs:

Photographs and Movies