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History : Primary Source Types

This guide is intended for all those studying history and related disciplines.

About Primary Sources

Primary sources are original documents or objects that originate from the time period being studied or were created at the time of a historical event. They provide significant context and value to your research through direct or first-hand experiences. Examples of primary sources include, but are not limited to, speeches, diaries, letters, and photos. Further descriptions of common source types are provided below.

Remember, whether a source is primary or secondary is often determined by how you intend to use it. For an overview of source types, visit Primary & Secondary Sources


Journal Articles

Newspaper Articles

Government Documents

Audio and Visual Materials

Archival Materials


Finding Primary Sources

Visit Finding Primary Sources to learn more about where to find different types of primary sources.