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Government Documents at FAU Libraries: Primary Sources

A guide for finding and using government resources

What is a Primary Source?

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:

  • ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS (excerpts or translations acceptable): Diaries, speeches, manuscripts, letters, interviews, news film footage, autobiographies, official records 
  • CREATIVE WORKS: Poetry, drama, novels, music, art 
  • RELICS OR ARTIFACTS: Pottery, furniture, clothing, buildings 

Primary sources can include charters, correspondence, diaries, early works, interviews, manuscripts, oratory, pamphlets, personal narratives, speeches, letters, and documents.

Source: Princeton University http://www.princeton.edu/~refdesk/primary2.html

Citing Primary Documents

Testimonies Before Congress

U.S. Congress Primary Sources

FAU Libraries Primary Sources LibGuide