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Browse library resources for the study of Anthropology (go/anthroguide)

Tip: What's a Primary Source?

Primary sources were created at the time of an event or period. They are often the product of an eyewitness or an original creator. They might be original reports of an event, artifacts from an event or time period, or creative works, and include:

  • memoirs
  • letters
  • interviews
  • pottery
  • novels
  • poems

Secondary sources interpret, analyze, or contextualize primary sources. They are second-hand interpretations. They might include:

  • documentaries
  • biographies
  • textbooks
  • research articles 


Tip: Useful Keywords

Add Primary Source Keywords to Your Search Terms

  • autobiography
  • memoir
  • sources
  • personal narrative*
  • letters
  • correspondence
  • diaries
  • diary
  • interview*
  • oral history
  • archives
  • speeches
  • notebooks, sketchbooks

Latin America and history and (letters or correspondence or narratives)

This technique can be used in Summon, MIDCAT, or other databases. Click here for in-depth help.

How Do I Find Primary Sources?

Library Resources


Primary Sources on the Web

Newspaper Articles