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HIST 485 : Russia to 1900: The Practice of History

Dr. Susan Smith. This Library Guide provides a great starting point for your research.

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

What is a secondary source?

Secondary sources are materials that have been created by someone such as a historian or a researcher. Secondary sources interpret and analyze data gathered from primary sources. They are one or more steps removed from the time of the event. Examples of secondary sources include:

  • Books
  • Newspaper or journal articles which interpret or reviews findings
  • The research paper you will write