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HSTY 225: Histography

Guide for Histography at Famingham State University

Primary vs. Secondary Sources

What is the difference? 

Primary sources are materials original to the time and/or place you are researching. 

Secondary sources are materials that contain information synthesized from, or an interpretation of, primary sources


Examples of Primary Sources
  • Diaries and autobiographies
  • Letters 
  • Speeches
  • Maps 
  • Court records 
  • News paper articles 
  • Pamphlets, broadsides, and other Ephemera 
  • Books written in the time period studied 


Examples of Secondary Sources
  • Monographs 
  • Journal articles 
  • Popular magazine or newspaper articles written about a historic event