Click on the image to open the links to each of these resource types and have fun exploring!
Criteria for determining Primary Sources: 1) created or experienced during the historical period; 2) If a website or book - at least 95% of the information included in it is primary source material (interviews, photographs, laws, personal correspondence etc.). If the source (website or book) includes more text and primary sources comprise less than 95% of it, then that source is listed in your bibliography as a secondary source that includes a great deal of primary source material!
Be aware that some resources (such as most Databases contain BOTH Primary and Secondary sources. If you are looking for primary sources within their research collections, select Primary Sources in Advanced Search or in the Results Lst!
Definition of a Primary Source [from the 2016 National History Day Website]
"A primary source is a piece of information about an historical event or period in which the creator of the source was an actual participant in or a contemporary of an actual historical moment."
Autobiographies written by a person who had first hand experience during that time period
Interviews with people who lived during the historical period
Census Records [birth, death, marriage records]
Newspaper articles written during the historical era
Photographs from that historical event
Laws passed at that time
Speeches and Government Reports written during the time period
Letters and Diaries written by people who lived during the time period
Flyers or advertisements from that time period
Original pieces of art, video, and music from the era
Definition of a Secondary Source [from the 2016 National History Day Website]
"A secondary source is a source that was not created first-hand by someone who participated in the historical era. Secondary sources are usually created by historians but based on the historians reading of primary sources. Secondary sources are usually written decades, if not centuries, after the event occurred by people who did not live through or participate in the event or issue."
Nonfiction books, encyclopedias, and biographies written after the historical period
Articles (newspaper, magazine, journal) written years later & available in print and/or electronically
Statistics and tables created after an event or time period
Most all Websites !
Explain why each is either a Primary or Secondary Source for a project on the Civil War
1. ___Primary ___ Secondary: Letter written by President Lincoln to his wife at the onset of the Civil War
2. ___Primary ___ Secondary: Nonfiction book about Civil War Soldiers (contains some original photographs)
3. ___Primary ___ Secondary: Biography of Mary Todd Lincoln
4. ___Primary ___ Secondary: Photographs of the Battle at Gettysburg
5. ___Primary ___ Secondary: Advertisement for a shotgun dated 1870
6. ___Primary ___ Secondary: Newspaper Headline announcing the assassination of Lincoln
7. ___Primary ___ Secondary: Website about the Civil War and all of the battles
8. ___Primary ___ Secondary: Gale U.S. History in Context database article about slavery
9. ___ Primary ___ Secondary: A cap tht once belonged to a Union Army soldier
10. ___ Primary ___ Secondary: Speech made by President Obama in 2009 at his first inauguration