Primary sources contain firsthand accounts or original data. Some examples include diaries, photographs, original research, drawings, posters, films, interviews, songs, eyewitness accounts.
Secondary sourcesare based on primary sources, often written by authorities on the subject.
A written work based entirely on secondary sources are tertiary sources. They may include bibliographies or encyclopedia articles.
Primary sources: subject examples
History: diaries, letters, government documents, or newspaper articles from the period being studied. Purdue has a number of databases containing full-text historical newspapers such as the Times (London), the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, etc.
Literature: The primary text is the work being analyzed or criticized. Any text can be a primary source if it is the focus of an analysis.
Anthropology, sociology: Ethnographies, survey data, statistics.
To find primary sources from Purdue publications/local newspapers, try searching in the catalog for print archives or visit the websites below.
If you need help, visit Archives and Special Collections located on the 4th floor in HSSE.
Date of Publication
Scope / Depth / Breadth
Intended Audience / Level of Information
Quality of Publication
Ease of Use / Special Features