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Research in the Social Sciences (Flex 2015)

WHAT IS A PRIMARY SOURCE?

Primary sources provide first-hand testimony or direct evidence.  Examples include:

  • diaries or correspondence
  • autobiographies and oral histories
  • photographs and illustrations
  • newspaper articles reporting an event
  • manuscripts
  • pamphlets, broadsides, or other ephemera
  • census data

Secondary sources gather, interpret, and analyze primary sources.  Examples include:

  • A history textbook
  • An encyclopedia article on immigration
  • A scholarly article on healthcare reform
  • A magazine articlethat usess census data to describe neighborhoods in San Francisco
  • A newspapers articles synthesizing information about school funding in California

EXAMPLES OF PRIMARY SOURCES

PHOTOGRAPHS

Sleepy Lagoon Defendents.1944.  UCLA, Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library   Calisphere.

NEWSPAPERS

Davies, Lawrence E.  "Seek Basic Causes of Zoot Suit Fray." New York Times (1923-Current file): 21. Jun 11 1943. ProQuest. Web. 11 Sep. 2013 .