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Categories of Primary and Secondary Sources

 

Material Cultural Artifacts

Tools and Machines, Toys and Games, Clothing, Coins, Decorations, Decorations, Utensils, Money, Furniture, Containers

Print Documents

Government

Formal Personal

Charters and Constitutions

Edicts and Laws

Minutes and Reports

Programs and Publications

Records and Statistics

Reports and Proceedings

Statutes

Treaties

Certificates and Licenses

Court Records

Contracts and Agreements

Family Trees

Receipts

Wills

Publications

Informal Personal Records

Autobiographies

Histories

Literature

Newspapers

Periodicals

Travels Accounts

Treaties

Diaries and Memoirs

Family and Household Records

Financial Statements

Letters

Memoranda and Notes

Electronic Media

Film, Video, Entertainment Information

Graphic Arts

Photography, Maps, Cartoons, Illustrations

Fine Arts

Painting, Sculpture, Prints, Textiles, Decorative Arts, Ceramics, Metal Works. Furniture

Folklore and Folkways

Oral Literature

Material Culture

Customs

Performance Arts

Tales

Proverbs,

Epic stories

Crafts,

Cloths making,

Quilting,

Home building

Rituals,

Ceremonies,

Family traditions

Dance,

Music,

Games

The Built Environment

Architecture, Place Names, Land use, Settlement patterns, Urban plans

Source:  Kroesch, Gary and Swanson, Mary Catherine.  (2002).  The Write Path:  History-Social Science Teacher Guide.  (p. 37).  San Diego:  AVID Press.

Primary Source Analysis

 

Primary source materials may offer invaluable insight into historical events.  These source materials are firsthand historical materials.  Letters, wills, newspaper articles, government documents, photographs, advertisements, journals, autobiographies, speeches can all be primary sources.  Like a historian, you should carefully examine the source, consider questions such as the following:

 

Title:  _________________________________________________________

 

Source:  _______________________________________________________

 

Type of source and date(s) of the source

 

Read the primary source and examine who, what, when, where, and why.

 

Select an interesting quotation or sentence and justify why you selected this as a representative statement from the source.

 

Are there any unique or unusual qualities of the source?

 

Who was the author, speaker, or creator of the source?

 

For what audience was the source addressed?

 

For what purpose was the source created?

 

List three things about this source that are important.

 

What can be learned from this source?

 

Write a question to the originator that is left unanswered by the primary source.

 

Write you reaction or opinion about this document.

Source

Kroesch, Gary and Swanson, Mary Catherine.  (2002).  The Write Path:  History-Social Science Teacher Guide.  (pp. 33-43).  San Diego:  AVID Press.