Skip to main content

Sisters in the Struggle: Kentucky Women in the Civil Rights Era, 1920s-1970s: Primary and Secondary Sources

Ask a Librarian

    Primary vs Secondary Sources

What is a primary source?

A historical document or original resource that was created at or near the time of an event. An eyewitness account or first recording of an event. Examples are research journal articles, recorded news footage, autobiographies, research reports, websites, letters, diaries, dissertations, conference proceedings, government publications, and artifacts.


What is a secondary source?

A discussion of previously presented information, or a second hand report. Interpretations or analyses that builds on an original work. Retelling of events not personally observed. Summaries and accounts of previously recorded events or publications. Examples are biographies, criticisms, magazine articles, encyclopedias, textbooks, most newspaper articles, reviews, and historical studies.