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How Do I Find Primary Sources?

A general guide on finding primary sources for research

What are Primary Sources?

Primary Sources are your objects of study. They are different from secondary sources, which are accounts or interpretations created by other people.

The type of primary source changes dependent on your field of study, application, and interpretation of the source. This guide provides advice on how to find primary sources inside and outside the SSU library.

Examples of primary sources by discipline
Discipline Primary Source Secondary Source
Art Original artwork Article, book, or film critiquing the artist or artwork
History Narrative of an event (letter, diary, newspaper article) Article, book or film summarizing a historical event and its aftermath
Literature Novel Article, book, or film critiquing or analyzing the novel or writer
Music Song Article, book, or film critiquing or analyzing the song or artist
Theater Film of a performance Review of a performance
Science Data collected from an original study Analysis of data collected
Psychology Psychologists' notes about a clients A book summarizing symptoms of a disorder