Primary sources are the raw materials of history — original documents and objects which were created at the time under study. They are different from secondary sources, accounts or interpretations of events created by someone without firsthand experience.
-- Library of Congress
Primary Source Examples in the Humanities
Primary Source Examples in the Sciences
Secondary sources, like biographies, histories, and criticism, analyze and interpret primary sources.
Artifact Reading Method
Creator: Who wrote the document or made the artifact?
Context: Where and when was it created?
Audience: For whom was it made?
Purpose: What was the intended use of the document or object?
Historical Significance: How does this object affect our understanding of history?