Primary Source Sites
National Archives - great source for primary documents
Docs Teach from the National Archives - arranged by historical era
American Memory Collection
The Library of Congress - the largest library in the world, with millions of books, recordings, photographs, maps and manuscripts in its collections.
LIFE Magazine Photo archive - hosted by Google and searchable by decade
Smithsonian Institute Encyclopedia - Links to on-line Smithsonian Resources from Art to Zoology
Avalon Project - primary documents dating back to Ancient and Medieval times organized by time period.
Internet History Sourcebook - from Fordham University.
To find primary sources about news events, watch this tutorial about searching Google News:
What is a Primary Source?
A primary source is a document or object that was written or created at the time that an event occurred or after those events in the form of an oral history or memoir. They offer a “first hand” of a particular event, and they serve as the raw material to interpret the past.
Characteristics of Primary Sources
Usually written or made close to the event or time period
Report of scientific discoveries
Examples of Primary Sources
What is a Secondary Source?
The purpose of a secondary source is to interpret and/or analyze a primary source(s). They are generally one or more steps removed from the event and may contain pictures, quotes or graphics from primary sources within them. They are usually in the form of published works – such as articles or books—or in radio or television documentaries.
Characteristics of Secondary Sources
Analysis / Interprets primary source
Interpretation of creative work
At times opinion based
Information may come from a variety of sources and perspectives
Examples of Secondary Sources
descriptions from Merrimack Middle School Library