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What is a primary source?

Last Updated: May 11, 2016  |  14 Views

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A primary source is an original source that documents an event in time, a person or an idea.

Some examples of primary sources are:

  • raw data
  • original research (journal articles, books) 
  • diary entries, letters and other correspondence
  • photographs, artifacts
  • audio or video broadcasts (that catch events as they unfold) e.g. Real-estate film shot at Hatley Park c.1938 from DSpace@RRU
  • eyewitness accounts or interviews
  • legal documents, government documents, public records (e.g. birth certificates)
  • records or other documents created by organizations

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