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Types of information


A primary source provides direct or firsthand evidence about an event, object, person or work of art



The function of these is tointerpret primary sources, and so can be described as at least one step removed from the event or phenomenon under review.





Historical and legal documents


Works of Art & Recordings




Not original

After the event


Contain academic articles written and reviewed by experts in the discipline

Written or produced after the event has passedwith the benefit of hindsight

Straight from the original source

Involves interpretation, synthesis, analysis or evaluation of the original information but is not itself original.

Textbooks and monographs which provide broad,foundational coverage of a topic,usually withan in-depth analysis.

Including photographs, audio recordings, video recordings and films, original works of art, creative writing

These could be government publications, legal documents such as legislation and case law, oral histories, company records, eyewitness accounts

Evidence made up of original documents and raw data

First-hand evidence about an event, object, person or work of art.

Journals, letters and diaries.

A secondary source is one that gives information about a primary source. Secondary sources involve generalization, analysis, synthesis, interpretation or evaluation of the original information.

News reports of something that has already happened.Available in print and online andone of the first mediums to report on an event after social media.

Secondary source materials interpret, assign value to, conjecture upon, and draw conclusions about the events reported in primary sources.

Articles written and reviewed by experts in the disciplineafter the event or research has been undertaken

Created later by someone who didn't have first-hand experience. Secondary sources describe, discuss, interpret, comment upon, analyze, evaluate, summarize, and process primary sources.