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Why are Primary Sources Important?

"Documents--diaries, letters, drawings, and memoirs--created by those who participated in or witnessed the events of the past tell us something that even the best-written article or book cannot convey. The use of primary sources exposes students to important historical concepts. First, students become aware that all written history reflects an author's interpretation of past events. Therefore, as students read a historical account, they can recognize its subjective nature. Second, through primary sources the students directly touch the lives of people in the past. Further, as students use primary sources, they develop important analytical skills." - The National Archives, 2016.

The use of primary sources in a student's research is a rewarding experience for both the student and their readers. Primary sources provide context for historical events from the perspective of those living through them, creating a personal connection to an otherwise distant concept. Students are encouraged to incorporate primary sources in their writings, and this page is meant to aid in the process of finding documents, images, and videos thorough various archives online. 

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