"Primary sources are the raw materials of history — original documents and objects which were created at the time under study. They are different from secondary sources, accounts or interpretations of events created by someone without firsthand experience."
Image: Deposition of Abigail Williams, May 1962
Primary sources in the humanities are documents or artifacts created during the time period being studied or by individuals reflecting on their involvement in an event.
Primary sources include:
These questions from DoHistory.org can help you evaluate primary sources.
Historians go to primary sources in the search for evidence to answer questions about what happened in the past and why. When working with primary sources, answering a series of basic questions can help us draw more accurate conclusions.
When trying to gather evidence from a primary source, first try to answer these basic questions. (You may not have enough information to do so.)
Then ask, what is the meaning of this primary source?