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University Library DePaul Library

Defining Primary Resources

Primary sources are the evidence of history, original records or objects created by participants or observers at the time historical events occurred or even well after events, as in memoirs and oral histories. (Taken from RUSA)

Primary sources may include but are not limited to:

  • memoirs
  • oral histories
  • photographs
  • audio recordings
  • video recordings
  • letters
  • manuscripts
  • ledgers
  • diaries or journals
  • newspapers
  • maps
  • speeches
  • interviews
  • documents produced by government agencies
  • born-digital items (e.g. emails)
  • research data
  • objects or artifacts (e.g. artwork, regalia, architecture)