Skip to main content

A Guide to Primary Sources

Primary Sources

What are Primary Sources?

  • are created at the time of, or very soon after, an event, or
  • are created by a person who directly experienced the event
  • primary sources are factual not analysis or interpretation

What are Secondary Sources?

  • are created after the original event
  • provide criticism, analysis or interpretation of the event and its primary sources

What are the Humanities, Social Sciences and Sciences?

"The Humanities are those disciplines that investigate the human condition, using primarily analytical, critical or speculative methods. The humanities include — but are not limited to —

"The Social Sciences are fields of study that may involve more empirical methods to consider society and human behaviour, including — but not limited to —

The term Sciences encompasses the disciplines in the life sciences, physical sciences and mathematical and computational sciences including — but not limited to — 

  • biology, chemistry, earth sciences, kinesiology, mathematics and physics.