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Using Primary Sources


“Primary sources are the raw materials of history — original documents and objects which were created at the time under study. 
They are different from secondary sources, accounts or interpretations of events created by someone without firsthand experience.”

Library of Congress, Teachers Page

Why use primary sources?

  • To engage students!
  • To learn in fun and exciting ways!
    1. Historians, or students of history, use primary and secondary sources to answer research questions. 
    2. Students use primary and secondary sources to make reasoned interpretations and construct knowledge.
    3. Students develop historical thinking skills through examining evidence to formulate and support their arguments.


Getting started with primary sources