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HIST 201 : Introduction to the Study of History: Primary Sources

Dr. Andrew Nolan This Library Guide provides a great starting point for researching history topics.

What is a primary source?

Primary sources were created during the time period being studied or at a later date by a participant in the events being studied, as in the case of memoirs or autobiographies.  They reflect the individual experience or viewpoint of a participant or observer.  Primary sources enable the researcher to get as close as possible to what actually happened during an historical event or time period. They have not undergone any sort of evaluation or interpretation.

Examples of Primary sources include: Audio/Video recordings, Autobiographies, Correspondence, Diaries, Letters, Maps, Newspaper articles, Pamphlets, Photographs, Speeches, ...

Using Primary Sources - ALA

Historical Newspapers