What exactly are primary sources?

Primary sources provide first-hand testimony or direct evidence concerning your topic of interest. They are created by witnesses or recorders who experienced the events or conditions being documented. Often these sources are created at the time when the events or conditions are occurring, but primary sources can also include autobiographies, memoirs that are published after the events, or oral histories that are recorded later.  Harvard has wonderful collections of primary sources, including unique items like letters,  diaries; and historical items like newspapers and books.

What is your topic?  Get personalized help to locate primary source collections related to your interests.

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