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National History Day 2015: Primary Sources

What are primary sources?


Primary sources are first hand accounts of an event.  Some examples include:

  • newspaper articles
  • letters
  • diaries
  • interviews
  • laws
  • treaties
  • government reports
  • census records
  • manuscripts
  • maps
  • photographs
  • audio/video recordings


Primary Source Website - Archives

Primary Source Websites

Other places to find primary sources...

The Milestone Documents series from Salem History provides full-text copies and analysis of significant documents in U.S. history, world history and world religions.  

Magazines and newspaper articles written in the time period can provide first hand reported accounts of an event.