Primary Sources v. Secondary Sources
- Anything that came into existence during the period a historian is studying.
- Purist meaning of primary document: no document or tangible source lies behind this document. You cannot go further back to any existing source for this source.
- Reliability-the truth and significance-of the document is not part of the definition of primary source.
- Enable the researcher to get as close as possible to what happened during an historical event or time period.
- Evidence left behind by participants or observers.
- Are always written about primary sources.
- Interpret the primary sources.
- Are removed from the original event.
- Are produced by historians to make sense of the past.
- Written by an author who is not an eyewitness or a participant in the historical event.