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Research Guides

Primary Source Examples

What Are Primary Sources?

Primary sources are the evidence of history.  They are the first-hand accounts of an event or period of time created by participants or observers.  There are many kinds of primary sources including texts (letters, diaries, government reports, newspaper accounts, novels, autobiographies), images (photographs, paintings, advertisements, posters), artifacts (buildings, clothing, sculpture, coins) and audio/visual (songs, oral history interviews, films).

For information on how to find specific types of primary sources see the sections on:

 

Many more primary sources can be found on the pages listed under the tabs History by Region and History by Topic.