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History 150: Research Assignments

Primary Source Examples

Primary sources are from the time period or by someone who witnessed the event.  Here are a few primary source examples: 

  • Photograph, video or sound recording
  • Written document (letter, diary, etc.)
  • Historical speech
  • Artifact or Object
  • Poster
  • Map
  • Cartoon
  • Drawing or work of art
  • Published newspapers and magazine articles by reporters who witnessed an event
  • Oral history or interview with someone who witnessed an event
  • Government publications, laws, policies from the time period
  • Original records

Resources for Primary Sources - Library Owned

Locating Primary Sources

Search Tip:
Always locate your secondary sources first. Secondary sources will lead you to primary sources. During your research, look for photographs, or mentions of primary sources such as letters, diaries, legislation, speeches, etc. If your secondary source does not include the primary source, search for the primary source document online using Google. Use the following keywords to search for primary sources:

- "Primary Source"
example: Great Depression AND primary source

- "Archive"
example: Egyptian Pyramids AND archive

- "Museum"
example: Korean War AND museum