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- A first-hand account of an event, created by someone who experienced or witnessed the event.
- In science and the social sciences, an original report of research that has not been interpreted.
- A second-hand account of an event, created by someone not present when the event took place.
- Interpretations, analyses or summaries of an event or topic based on primary sources (or other secondary sources).
- Autobiographies, memoirs, diaries
- Interviews, speeches, letters, manuscripts, emails
- First-hand newspaper and magazine accounts of an event
- Original works of literature, art or music
- Records of organizations and government agencies
- Laws, treaties, maps
- Statistics, surveys, opinion polls, scientific data
- Research reports in the sciences or the social sciences
- Photographs, video recordings, audio recordings
- Objects and artifacts that reflect the time period in which they were created
- Some types of books, such as biographies, textbooks, history books
- Some types of articles, such as literature reviews, commentaries
- Encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks
- Criticism of works of literature, art and music
Note: some secondary sources may include or reproduce primary source material