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English : Primary Source Texts

What are Primary Sources?

Primary sources of information are original materials that often convey new ideas, discoveries, or information. These sources originate from the time period under study. In the study of English literature examples of primary sources include:

  • original writtten works such as novels, plays,and poems
  • original documents such as diaries, letters, emails, manuscripts
  • newspaper articles from the time period under study
  • autobiographies, first-person accounts, case studies
  • artifacts and archival material such as official documents, minutes recorded by government agencies and organizations, photographs, coins, fossils, natural specimens