Teachtopia teaches SOCIAL STUDIES

What is considered a primary source?

In order to understand a primary sources, it often makes sense to first think about what a secondary source is.  An encyclopedia article about Cesar Chavez based upon photos, journals, and newspaper articles from a time period is a secondary source.  The source material for the article (the photos, journals, and newspaper articles) are the primary sources.

What are example of primary sources?

  • *books, newspapers and magazine articles (could be the text only does not have to be original content or even a photocopy)
  • *photos, audio, video, movies
  • *journals, invitations, letters, scrapbooks, diaries
  • *speeches (transcripts and original audio/video)
  • *government publications and records
  • *oral histories (recorded, first hand, and transcribed)
  • *documents and records of organizations
  • *biographies and autobiographies
  • *printed ephemera (material from a time period) example: Menus, Maps
  • *artifacts, example: clothing, costumes, furniture (could be reproductions)
  • *research data, example: census data, public opinion polls