History 104: Introduction to American History Since 1865: What are Primary Sources

Resources for History 104

How to identify primary sources

Primary sources are contemporary accounts of an event, written by someone who experienced or witnessed the event in question.

Primary sources include:   

diaries, letters, memoirs, autobiographies, journals, speeches, manuscripts, interviews, cartoons, advertisements, newspaper or magazine articles written at the time of or soon after the fact, photographs, audio or video recordings, movies, research reports in the natural or social sciences, documents of organizations, goverment documents, opinion polls, original literary works or fiction, original theatrical works, and original works of art.


Heritage Resources at Western Washington

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Margaret Fast



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