HS Library Primary and Secondary Resources

What is a Primary Source and what is a Secondary Source?

Definition: “Primary Sources are actual records that have survived from the past, such as letters, photographs, or articles of clothing” (Library of Congress, 2000).

Other examples of primary sources are:

interviews, eyewitness accounts, personal journals, diaries, speeches, experiments, observations, videotapes, films, and historical documents.

A copy of the speech of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address would be a primary source. The actual image of the original speech could be found at the Library of Congress’ American Memory– http://lcweb.loc.gov/exhibits/gadd/ga.html

Definition: “Secondary Sources are accounts of the past created by people writing about events sometime after they happened” (Library of Congress, 2000).

Examples of secondary sources are:

nonfiction books, fiction books, encyclopedias, atlas, almanac, newspapers, popular magazines, audio-visuals and online databases.