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Primary Sources: Home

This guide serves as an introduction to the primary sources in the Standish Library's collections, as well as resources available elsewhere. The resources listed are just a selection from those available.

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This guide includes librarian recommended sources.

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call (518) 783-2988

text (518) 306-7595

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Primary Source Examples

Anthropology &  Archeology - Articles describing research, ethnographies, surveys, cultural and historical artifacts

Communications &  Journalism News (printed, radio, TV, online), photographs, blogs, social media sites

Education,  Political  Science &  Public  Policy Government publications, laws, court cases, speeches, test results, interviews, polls, surveys

Fine ArtsOriginal art work, photographs, recordings of performances, and music, scripts (film, theatre, television),  music scores, interviews, memoirs, diaries, letters

History Government publications, newspapers, photographs, diaries, letters, manuscripts, business records, court cases, videos, polls, census data, speeches

Language & LiteratureNovels, plays, short stories, poems, dictionaries, language manuals

Psychology, Sociology & EconomicsArticles describing research, experiment results, ethnographies, interviews, surveys, data sets

ScienceArticles describing research and methodologies, documentation of lab research, research studies

What is a primary source?

Primary sources are records created by people who participated in or witnessed historical events. They are direct records of the events, without interpretation or commentary. Some primary sources can be created after the events (such as memoirs, oral histories etc.). Primary resources can include diaries, letters, journals, speeches, interviews, tape recordings, memoirs, oral histories, maps, treaties, photographs, and records of governments.

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