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Michigan State University

HST 201: Spies in the Global Twentieth Century (Fall 2022): Primary Sources

Databases for Primary Sources

What is a Primary Source?

Primary sources provide direct or firsthand evidence about an event, person, or object. These sources are contemporary to the events and people described, meaning that they were often created during the time being studied or by those who witnessed an event firsthand. 

Examples of primary sources include: newspapers, diaries, letters, memoirs and autobiographies, speeches, photographs, and government documents.