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History: U.S., Western, & Utah: Primary & Secondary Sources

This guide is to help users access credible resources in U.S., Western and local History.

Overview

Primary sources are original accounts or documents around an event.

Secondary sources include some level of interpretation.

What is "primary" depends on the context of your research. The tutorial "Wheel of Sources" provides very helpful information on distinguishing the two in different scenarios. When in doubt, check in with a librarian or instructor.

Finding Primary Sources

Tip: If you are reading a secondary source and they mention a primary source of interest... track down that primary source! Maybe it's an image you want to use or the text of a speech or a letter.

Analyzing Primary Sources

Websites for Primary Sources

Primary and Secondary Sources Tutorial from UCLA

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

Lincoln-Douglas Debates

Librarian Chat