What is a primary source?
The NHD book, Making History: A Guide to Historical Research Through the National History Day Program, defines primary and secondary sources:
- A piece of information about a historical event or period in which the creator of the source was an actual participant or a contemporary of a historical moment. A primary source can be a written document created by someone in the past.
- A primary source can be an object, place, song, or other cultural artifact created during the historical period you are studying.
- Examples of primary sources include, but are not limited to:
- Manuscript collections
- Newspapers from the era
- Government records
- Music of the era
- Historic places
- Historical objects
- Interviews with participants