A Primary Source is a physical object created during the time under study. The creator is present during the experience so they can offer an inside view of a particular event, development, person or society.
In the discipline of history, primary source types can be broken into three categories:
Original Documents - speech, official record, manuscript, letter, diary, autobiography / memoir, interview, film footage
Creative Works - poetry, drama, novels, music, art
Relics or Artifacts - pottery, furniture, clothing, buildings / architecture
Museum websites, library websites, and archives affiliated with colleges or universities may also provide access to digital versions of primary source material. Consider historically appropriate terms when searching for primary source material.
To find a primary source in this reference book, look in the index under
Types of primary sources include paintings, artifacts, maps and architectural structures.