Any object, item, writing, recording, publication, hand writing, art, file, photograph, and documents that are original to the event, time period, or person in question.
Yale University has a very well-designed page describing primary sources. While all of the Suggested tools for... lead to Yale owned material, the examples/definitions for each type of material are excellent.
A primary source is a document or physical object which was written or created during the time under study. These sources were present during an experience or time period and offer an inside view of a particular event. Some types of primary sources include:
Examples of primary sources include:
What is a secondary source?
A secondary source interprets and analyzes primary sources. These sources are one or more steps removed from the event. Secondary sources may have pictures, quotes or graphics of primary sources in them. Some types of secondary sources include:
Examples of secondary sources include:
In library and museum catalogues, searching by the keywords below can often find primary sources.