Primary Sources are first hand narratives, original documents/objects or factual accounts that were written or made during or close to the event or period of time. They have a direct connection to a person, time, event or place. Primary sources have not been subject to processing, manipulation, analysis or interpretation.
Secondary Sources interpret analysis and critique primary sources. They can provide a second-hand version of events or an interpretation of first-hand account. They can tell a story one or more steps remove from the original person, time place or event.
- things that we can study directly.
- ‘raw’ materials from that time period.
- they have not been filtered through the lends of academic interpretation.
- the fragments through which historical accounts are constructed.
- accounts written or produced after the fact, with the benefit of hindsight or critical discourse.
- interpretations/evaluations of primary sources.
We will need to use both types of sources in our dissertations.