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America Through Pictures: A Research Guide: Primary Sources

Use the following guide as a reference for your picture projects for Ms. Sepcie and Mr. Bresnan's U.S. History classes.

Primary Sources

What is a primary source?

Primary sources are documents or artifacts which were created during or near the time an event occurred. They are the creator's thoughts or observations which have not been interpreted by another individual. They may include (but are not limited to):

  • correspondence
  • diaries / journals
  • pamphlets
  • interviews
  • autobiographies
  • newspaper articles
  • creative works (poetic, literary works, musical score, etc.)
  • speeches
  • photographs
  • government documents
  • legal documents
  • artifacts (textiles, pottery, etc.)

Secondary Sources

What is a secondary source?

In contrast, a secondary source of information is one that was created later by someone who did not experience first-hand or participate in the events or conditions you’re researching. They tend to provide analysis or commentary on a historical event within a different context. Secondary sources include but are not limited to: 

  • Books
  • Biographies
  • Histories
  • Scholarly journals and articles
  • Textbooks
  • Literary Criticism 
  • Book. art and theater reviews
  • Newspaper and magazine articles that interpret

Primary Sources @ Google

Primary Sources @ VHSLC

Using GALE for Primary Sources

Online Primary Sources: General History