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Artifact Activity. Primary vs. Secondary Sources. Primary Sources. it is a document, recording or other source of information that was created at roughly the time being studied, by an authoritative source, usually one with direct personal knowledge of the events being described.

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Artifact Activity

Primary vs. Secondary Sources


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Primary Sources

  • it is a document, recording or other source of information that was created at roughly the time being studied, by an authoritative source, usually one with direct personal knowledge of the events being described.

  • Examples: Original documents: autobiographies, diaries, e-mail, interviews, letters, minutes, news film footage, official records, photographs, raw research data, speeches

    Creative works: art, drama, films, music, novels, poetry

    Relics or artifacts: buildings, clothing, DNA, furniture, jewelry, pottery


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Secondary Sources

  • is a secondhand account about people, events, topics or places that is based on what some other writer has experienced

  • Examples:

    A journal/magazine article which interprets or reviews previous findings 

    A history textbook 

    An encyclopedia 


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QUIZ

Read the following examples of sources. Determine if it is a primary or secondary source. Write P for Primary or S for secondary.

____1. Diary kept by John Smith, a soldier in the Confederate Army, published in a collectionof Alabama papers____2. Photograph of Dr. George Washington Carver taken in 1898____3. Biography of George Washington____4. Newspaper article about the assassination of President Kennedy written on November 23, 1963____5. Television mini-series about President Franklin Roosevelt's life


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____6. Scrapbook kept by Mrs. Mary Smith in 1883 with copies of recipes and household hints____7. Photograph album containing pictures of classmates at Tuskegee Institute in 1923____8. Letter written by Emily Smith to her friend Pamela Jones, May 3, 1826, describing her trip by wagon from North Carolina to Huntsville, Alabama and the log cabin her father was buildingfor the family____9. Article about Martin LutherKing, Jr. in People Magazine, 1988____10. Information about Creek Indians in World Book Encyclopedia


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____11. Cassette tape of an interview with Dr. James Lee describing his life as a doctor in Montgomery    County during the 1920s____12. The Story of Alabama, a textbook by Virginia Van der Veer Hamilton____13. Matthew Mason's will, 1896____14. Map of Alabama drawn by John LaTourette, 1841____15. Minutes from the 1898 organization of Dexter Avenue United Methodist Church published in a play in 1988


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Artifacts describing his life as a doctor in Montgomery

You and a partner have gone on an archeological dig with Kentucky Grimmer. You and your partner must determine what artifacts you have found, what can be determined about the people who left them behind just from looking at the artifacts, and determine if it is a primary or secondary source.

You and your partner will present your findings to your peers. Be sure to tell us what you found, where it was found, and what you can determine about the people and their culture.


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Closing thoughts describing his life as a doctor in Montgomery

  • When should primary sources be used?

  • When should secondary sources be used?

  • Based on our activity, is all history 100% accurate? Why or why not?