Skip to Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


What is a Primary Source?

I need to find a primary source in literature (or science or history, etc.) but I don't know what that is. How do I find one?
Last Updated: Mar 31, 2016  |  213 Views

Was this helpful? 0   0


Read the Library of Congress definition of a primary source:

Primary sources are the raw materials of history — original documents and objects which were created at the time under study. They are different from secondary sources, accounts or interpretations of events created by someone without firsthand experience.

Read Yale University's definition of a primary source:

Primary sources provide first-hand testimony or direct evidence concerning a topic under investigation. They are created by witnesses or recorders who experienced the events or conditions being documented. Often these sources are created at the time when the events or conditions are occurring, but primary sources can also include autobiographies, memoirs, and oral histories recorded later.


Answered by Linda HutchingsBookmark and Share

Other Answers / Comments (0)

    Live Chat

    Chat requires JavaScript.

    Related content from Subject Guides

    More Ways to Find Answers