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HMW9: Primary Sources

History of the Modern World

What is a Primary Source?

Some examples include:

  • Books, magazine and newspaper articles published at the time
  • Hand-written documents like diaries and journals
  • Maps
  • Laws & court cases
  • Speeches, interviews, letters
  • Memoirs and autobiographies
  • literary manuscripts
  • Records of government agencies
  • Records of organizations
  • Public opinion polls
  • Fiction from a particular time and place
  • Research data
  • Religious or philosophical texts
  • Artifacts of all kinds: physical objects, furniture, tools, clothing, etc.
  • Photographs, audio recordings, movies and videos
  • Art, including paintings, prints and other media

Primary Sources on the Web

Library of Congress Primary Source Analysis