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NSG 317 - History of Nursing

Primary vs Secondary Sources tutorial

Geisel Productions [libmarlo]. (2008, May 21). What is a primary source? [Video file]. Retrieved from

Primary Sources vs. Secondary Sources

Primary sources are generally original records or first person accounts created at the time of an historical event or era. They may be created later, if by an eyewitness to the event or time period. Types of primary sources include:

  • Letters
  • Diaries
  • Speeches
  • Interviews
  • Literary works
  • Memoirs
  • Artifacts
  • Buildings
  • Government documents
  • Newspaper articles
  • Images
  • Sound Recordings

Use the options such as Historical Newspapers and Websites to help you find primary sources.

Secondary sources comment upon, explain, or interpret primary sources.  They may include scholarly books, journal and magazine articles, encyclopedias, dictionaries, biographies, reviews, and textbooks.

Use the Books and Articles tabs to help you find secondary sources.