THSA 1350 Introductory Christian Ethics

Primary Sources


  eyeglasses, ink, and quill atop handwritten paper    stack of folded newspapers  civil war photograph open journal and pen


What is a Primary Source?


Primary sources are records that provide first-hand testimony or evidence of an event, action, topic, or time period.


Primary sources are usually created by individuals that directly experience an event or topic, and record their experience through photographs, videos, memoirs, correspondence, oral histories, or autobiographies.


Common Examples of PRIMARY Sources: Letters, diaries, speeches, interviews, photographs, notes, subject files, oral histories, autobiographies, travelogues, pamphlets, newspapers, newsletters, brochures, government documents, manuscripts, archival materials, artifacts, architectural plans, artistic works, works of fiction.


Determining a primary source from a secondary source can be tricky. Sometimes it's not clear cut. For more tips on what to look for, visit this helpful website from Yale University.


Photo credits: Letter, 20072307 Days go by (Newspapers), Lollyman, photo available on Washington, D.C. Company D 10th U.S. Veteran Reserve Corps, James Gardner, photographer, Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [LC-DIG-cwpb-04379 DLC] writing in bed (Diary), louveciennes, photo available on

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