Primary and Secondary Sources Murphy, Bruce Allen. "Constitution of the United States." World Book Advanced. World Book, 2010. Web. 29 Oct. 2010. Eighth Grade History Textbook
What are Primary Sources? They are actual records that have survived from the past. They come in many formats. They can be artifacts, diaries, video footage, letters, photos, letters.
Autobiographies Diaries Documents Eyewitness accounts Film footage Laws Letters Video recordings of actual event Minutes to meetings E-mail messages Blog postings Coins Novels Objects from the time Photographs Poems, art, music Speeches Interviews Manuscripts Newspaper articles written at the time of event Maps Podcasts Voice mail messages Paintings Primary Source Examples
Does a Primary Source have to be the original material? NO! It can be in another form like a copy of original document. But, it can NOT be edited or interpreted in any way.
Why should you use Primary Sources when researching an event? • Primary sources enable the researcher, that’s YOU, to get as close as possible to what actually happened during a historical event or time period. • Time and Place Rule: The closer in time and place a source and its creator were to the event, the more authentic and reliable the source.
What is a Secondary Source? A Secondary Source is an informational source that analyzes or interprets a historical event. These are accounts of the past created by people writing about events sometime after they happened.
Secondary Source Examples • History Textbooks • Encyclopedias both print and online formats • Biographies • Reference books • Non-fiction books on a historical event • Editorials • Journal articles
Are Secondary Sources useful? • Yes! • Secondary Sources provide the necessary background information on a historical event. • For Example: Once you’ve read in your history textbook (secondary source) about the Boston Massacre of 1770, you then may want to read for yourself, John Tudor’s first hand eyewitness account of this event taken from his diary (primary source).
Questions to ask yourself when determining if the information source is Primary or Secondary • Who wrote this? • Did the recorder witness or experience the event? • Why did they write it? • Did the writer wish to inform or persuade others? • Who did they write it for? • When did they write it?
Is this a Primary or Secondary Source? Constitution of United States of America Murphy, Bruce Allen. "Constitution of the United States." World Book Advanced. World Book, 2010. Web. 29 Oct. 2010.
Is this a Primary or Secondary Source? Eighth Grade History Textbook
Is this a Primary or Secondary Source? Autobiography of Anne Frank
Is this a Primary or Secondary Source? Picture of Martin Luther King Jr. during the Selma march Garrow, David J. "King, Martin Luther, Jr." World Book Advanced. World Book, 2010. Web. 29 Oct. 2010.
Where can I find Primary Sources? World Book Online (a Secondary Source) has a link to Primary Sources
Primary Source: National Archives • National Archive Site http://www.archives.gov
Primary Source: Our Documents Web Site • http://www.ourdocuments.gov
Where can I find Primary Source artifacts? • Museums • Exhibits • Smithsonian • Library of Congress
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