Primary and Secondary Sources

Interviews: are they a primary source?

The answer to this is not straightforward, but in general, the answer is: yes. When you conducted the interview yourself and included it as supporting evidence in your research paper, then the …

Is a letter a primary source?

Yes, a letter is a primary source. However, sometimes you may not be given access to the actual letter, for example, if it is damaged, fragile or very old. In these cases, you will be given a …

Newspaper articles: primary or secondary sources?

Yes. However, this is only true when discussing newspaper articles which are used for historical research. This is because newspaper articles, written about a specific event immediately after its …

Primary vs. secondary sources: how to distinguish them

Primary and secondary sources are the two types materials you will use while undertaking your research project. They are both important and needed for your project. The requirements for whether you …

What is a primary source?

Primary sources are original documents or artefacts. They were created at the time period you are studying. Primary sources are contemporary, created by someone who witnessed a historical event, …

What is a secondary source?

Secondary sources are sources which describe an event, but did not originate in the time period they describe. They were created by someone based on firsthand accounts. They are the second time the …

Is a painting a primary source? [with examples]

Yes, if the painting originated at the time it depicts, then it is a primary source. For instance, Da Vinci's Mona Lisa is a primary source because it is the most famous art piece during the …

Is a documentary a secondary source? [with examples]

A documentary can either be a secondary or a tertiary source. It is a secondary source if it analyses different types of sources and a tertiary source if it only repackages information and doesn't …

Is an encyclopedia a primary source?

No, an encyclopedia is a tertiary source. Encyclopedias provide extent information about a particular topic, time period or person in the form of entries arranged in alphabetical order. …

Is a map a primary source?

A map can be a primary or secondary source. If a map was produced as immediate evidence of an area, then it is a primary source. If the map is just a symbolic depiction of a space then it is a …

Is census data a primary source?

Yes. Census data is a primary source because it is the official process of methodically collecting information about a certain topic in a specific time period. Meaning, that it is a first-hand …

Is the US Constitution a primary source?

Yes, the US Constitution is a primary source. In fact, the US Constitution is the main source of law in the US, as it contains the fundamental laws by which the United States is regulated. Moreover, …

Is a textbook a secondary source?

It depends. A textbook can either be a secondary or tertiary source and, in seldom cases, a primary source. In most cases, the author of a textbook interprets prescribed theories of a topic and …

Is an autobiography a primary source?

Yes, an autobiography is a primary source. Authors of autobiographies are direct witnesses of the events and time described in the narration. Even though autobiographies are usually written after …