Primary sources provide a first hand record and are documents or physical objects created at the time historical events occurred or well after events in the form of memoirs and oral histories. Examples include:
Secondary sources interpret and analyze 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. Examples include: Textbooks, journal articles, histories, criticisms, commentaries, and encyclopedias (e.g. Ebenezer Howard and the marriage of town and country: An introduction to Howard’s “Garden Cities of To-morrow”).
Which Playground for Your Child? [poster]
Exercise for Interrogating a primary source
When reading a primary source it is important to look at not just its contents, but an item's physicality. Here are some guiding questions to answer as you examine a primary source:
Questions to ask when you have multiple primary sources: