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ENG101: College Writing (Food) (Benson)

Primary Sources Based on Academic Discipline

Examples of Primary Sources

  • Diaries or journals (published or unpublished)
  • Letters, correspondence or other personal communications
  • Public documents such as deeds, marriages license or certificates
  • Newspapers and weekly newsmagazines (offering contemporaneous reporting of events)
  • Radio and television transcripts and wire reports
  • Speeches in print or audio formats
  • Court cases
  • Legislative reports, bills and laws
  • Census data
  • Government Documents
  • Maps
  • Art works such as paintings, prints or photographs
  • Museum artifacts
  • Interviews or oral histories
  • Works of literature such as fiction, poetry or drama
  • Statistics including opinion polls

Search for Primary Sources from These Online Collections

What is Provenance?

The online collections below might lead you to a useful primary source. Once you have found what looks like an interesting collection, what is your next step? According to Richard Pearce-Moses of the Society of American Archivists, researchers "will look critically at where the information comes from. They want to be confident that the sources they have found e.g. scanned images, are reliable and represent an accurate depiction of the original document. Determining the origin or source of an item is referred to as “provenance.” The Society of American Archivists defines provenance as the “information regarding the origins, custody, and ownership of an item or collection.”1