What Are Primary Sources?
- first-hand information from a person who witnessed or participated in an event
- original materials, created at the time of an event or soon thereafter
- can include scientific data, statistics, or an official transcript of a government proceeding
Primary sources can be almost anything. They are found in a variety of formats:
- original documents in archives and libraries (Many of our special collections are "home-grown" primary sources)
- materials reprinted in published sources, such as collections of letters, diaries, autobiographies
- digitized materials on the Web
- sound recordings
See our library guide on primary sources.