Primary Sources are recorded or written down at the time of the event, while secondary sources are recorded later. Examples include diaries and letters (primary) as opposed to memoirs and autobiographies (secondary); or newspaper accounts (primary) as opposed to formal histories (secondary). This category provides access to "Primary Source" materials relevant to historical scholarship, including manuscripts, letters, diaries, newspapers, photographs, artifacts, literature, and maps. Also included are some categories of government information. Primary sources in the sciences are not addressed here.
For more information about using primary sources, see our Special Online Exhibit.