Primary sources consist of firsthand accounts/event recordings, artistic representations of events, and original research, studies, schematics, and data. These may be created simultaneous to an event or recorded later (interviews, diaries, memoirs, art).
Visual materials, such as photos, original artwork, posters, and films, are important primary sources, not only for the factual information they may offer, but also for the insight into historial views.
Primary sources include:
- Books (such as diaries, memoirs, speeches)
- Correspondence (email, text messages, postcards, letters)
- Dissertations, original research or case studies
- Government documents (reports, census data, testimony, laws, treaties)
- Manuscripts and Archival materials (personal and family papers, organizational records)
- Maps, architectural plans, and schematics
- Moving images or films
- Newspapers, magazines or journals with firsthand accounts, data or statistics
- Artifacts (fossils, furniture, tools, clothing, etc. from the period being studied)
- Printed ephemera (leaflets, flyers, handbills, etc.)
- Broadcast media, including tv and radio
- Sound recordings and music
- Visual materials (prints, photographs, posters, artworks)