• Primary Sources: Primary Vs Secondary

    Primary sources are great for historical research. Learn more using this guide.

    Primary Sources

    Primary sources are first-hand accounts. These sources did directly witness what happened or participate in an event. For example, witnesses create original documents like the Constitution or watched events like the Lindsey football team winning their first championship. 

    Examples of primary sources include:

    • Artwork, Film, Music
    • Personal writings (e.g. diary entries, letters, etc.)
    • Maps
    • Interviews, Speeches
    • Newspapers, Magazines, Pamphlets
    • Manuscripts
    • Memorabilia (e.g. greeting cards, invitations, receipts, playbills, posters, etc.)
    • Legal documents (e.g. court cases, business records, etc.)
    • Other artifacts

    Check out the library's in-house archives and special collections department for primary sources for materials dating back to the 1860s!

    Also check out the library's government documents collection for governmental publications!

    What are secondary sources?

    Secondary sources are second-hand accounts. These sources did not directly witness what happened or participate in an event. For example, visitors to the Corvette Museum learn about the sinkhole that happened there in 2014. They share their knowledge with friends and family because they learned about it *from a primary source*, which is the museum.

    Government Information Library Assistant

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    Allison Rea
    Contact:
    Katie Murrell Library Gov Docs office.
    270-384-8255