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D. Hiden Ramsey Library, University of North Carolina at Asheville

HIST 250- The Historian's Craft: Primary Sources

This guide will help you to understand the importance of of Historiography and will assist you in applying the latest methodology in conducting research in primary sources.

What Are Primary Sources?

n. material that contains firsthand accounts of events and that was created contemporaneous to those events or later recalled by an eyewitness

Notes: Primary sources emphasize the lack of intermediaries between the thing or events being studied and reports of those things or events based on the belief that firsthand accounts are more accurate. Examples of primary sources include letters and diaries; government, church, and business records; oral histories; photographs, motion pictures, and videos; maps and land records; and blueprints. Newspaper articles contemporaneous with the events described are traditionally considered primary sources, although the reporter may have compiled the story from witnesses, rather than being an eyewitness. Artifacts and specimens may also be primary evidence if they are the object of study.

(From the Society of American Archivists Dictionary)

The Story of a Primary Source- The "Lost" Letter of Paul Revere

CLICK ON THE PICTURE ABOVE TO LEARN THE STORY OF PAUL REVERE'S "LOST" LETTER AND WHAT MAKES PRIMARY SOURCES SO IMPORTANT