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Primary versus Secondary Resources
PRIMARY RESOURCES: original, firsthand evidence.
- original documents such as diaries, records, autobiographies, letters, interviews, and research reports. Ex: The Diary of Anne Frank
- original creative work such as novels, paintings, and musical scores. Ex: The Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci.
- an artifact like pottery, buildings, or clothing. Ex: the ruby slippers that Judy Garland wore while playing Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.
SECONDARY RESOURCES: analyze or interpret a PRIMARY RESOURCE. They are usually produced after an event.
- textbooks, encyclopedias, and magazine articles. Ex: a biography on the life of Queen Victoria written after her death.
Check out this short video from the Minnesota Historical Society:
These sites have amazing resources (many primary documents!) for all of the topics: