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CPHS_APIB SS - Dictators: Primary vs. Secondary Sources

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:

Primary Sources

These sites have amazing resources (many primary documents!) for all of the topics: