Answered By: Emma Clausen
Last Updated: Nov 28, 2018     Views: 1

You may find primary sources might be found in library databases, books, or in online repositories on the Web. See our guide that we keep updated on primary sources and finding them in library databases and on the Web. 

A primary source is a document, recording, image, or other artifact that provides a first-hand account or that was written or created during the time of the event or period being researched. 


  • First-hand accounts: diaries, memoirs, public speeches, autobiographies, letters, oral histories, interviews, emails
  • Newspaper stories or news video footage produced at the time of the event/period
  • Records: birth certificates, death certificates, financial reports, meeting minutes, wills, statutes and regulations
  • Original works: poetry, drama, novels, music, paintings, photographs, research data
  • Artifacts: furniture, tools, buildings, clothing