Skip to main content

Your browser is unsupported

We recommend using the latest version of IE11, Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

English 160 &161: Introduction to Library Research

Research & Article Databases

Primary Sources

What is a Primary Source?
A primary source is material that was created at the time being studied.  It can be a document, a recording or an artifact.  It serves as an original source of information about the topic. Primary sources are distinguished from secondary sources which usually are analysis, commentary or a filtered account of the topic. 

Types of primary sources (might also work as search terms for finding primary resources in the library catalog or Summon):

  • Film/video clips
  • Personal narrative: autobiographies, memoirs
  • Audio recordings
  • Artwork
  • Photographs
  • Historical newspapers or magazines

Tools for finding Primary Sources: