Primary and secondary sources
Primary sources provide a first hand account of an event or time period. Often these sources were created at the time the events occurred but they can also include autobiographies, memoirs or oral histories that were recorded later.
Use search terms such as:
- oral history
- government document
Secondary sources offer an analysis or a restatement of primary sources. They often attempt to describe or explain primary sources and involve generalisation, synthesis, interpretation, commentary or evaluation.
Some secondary sources not only analyse primary sources, but use them to argue a point or to persuade the reader to hold a certain opinion.
Examples of secondary sources include:
- books and articles that interpret or review research works
How to find primary and secondary sources
- search the Catalogue to find print or online sources
- search databases via Sirius for online sources
- find newspapers on microfilm, online or in print