Primary sources are first-hand accounts of an event or time in history that has yet to be interpreted by another person.
Examples of primary sources include:
- First person accounts: such as diaries, journals, letters, interviews, speeches, memos, manuscripts, memoirs, and autobiographies.
- Official records: such as government publications, census data, court reports, police records.
- Correspondence of an organization or agency: such a minutes, reports.
- Newspaper and magazine articles, viewed as a whole, during the time of the event.
- Photographs, paintings, film and television programs, audio recordings which document an event.
- Research: such an opinion polls which document attitudes an thought during the time of an event.
- Artifacts: such as objects, tools, clothing, etc. of the time period or event.
Communication through multimedia venues: such as listservs, chatrooms, and electronic journals.
Secondary sources are scholarly books or articles that are based on primary data (and/or other secondary sources) and analyze, critique, report, summarize, interpret, or restructure that data.
Examples of secondary sources include:
- Reference books: such as encyclopedias, handbooks, etc.
- Most scholarly books
- Most magazine and journal articles