This page should help students understand the differences between primary and secondary sources and how to locate the appropriate sources to further their research. Archival materials refer to documents, records, and photographs created, received, or accumulated by an individual, family, or associations as a natural, spontaneous result of their normal, everyday activities.
The home page exclaimed that primary and secondary sources are indeed different. The purpose of this page is to further elaborate those differences so that students may properly research each source type.
Distinguishing the two source types:
Before starting, it's important to know that both primary and secondary sources vary in each subject. Streamline your research and know the difference between primary and secondary sources as soon as possible.
Primary sources are concrete works with legitimate facts backing the work while secondary sources mainly consist of an analysis on the primary sources. Secondary sources provide an interpretation on the primary source.
A newspaper article about the sinking of the Titanic days after the incident serves as a primary source. A Secondary source would be a recently published book discussing the Titanic's impact on history. The article is a real life account with concrete information while the book is more interpretive and can be further analyzed. Both discuss the same topic but ultimately have different meanings.
Examples of Primary and Secondary Sources for a variety of subjects are listed below.
Tertiary sources are both Primary and Secondary sources compiled together in a singular medium.
Examples include: Encyclopedias, Manuals, Dictionaries, Almanacs, Indexes, Abstracts, etc.