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Primary Resources

Overview

Primary resources are original records (or firsthand accounts) of events, people, and places. Primary resources include:

  • Diaries and Journals
  • Manuscripts
  • Photographs
  • Passenger Manifests
  • Government Documents
  • Interviews
  • Letters
  • Ships' Logs
  • Speeches
  • Maps and Plans
  • Laws & Court Cases
  • Artifacts

Primary vs. Secondary

Examples of Primary vs. Secondary Sources

Primary

Secondary

A speech by Abraham Lincoln biography on Abraham Lincoln
A Civil War soldier's diary book on the Civil War
The log of Columbus's ship, the SANTA MARIA journal article on Columbus's voyages
 

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