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Research Guides

FAH214: Italian Renaissance Art: Find Primary Sources

Primary vs. Secondary Sources

It is not always easy to discern the difference between primary, secondary, and tertiary resources. The definition of "primary sources" varies across different fields of study. Ask your professor if you have any questions about what will be accepted as a primary source for a particular assignment.

For details on this distinction, see this chart.


The following are examples of primary source material:

  • Letters
  • Manuscripts
  • Original works of art
  • Literary works
  • Diaries or journals
  • Newspapers
  • Speeches
  • Interviews
  • Memoirs
  • Government documents
  • Photographs
  • Audio/video recordings
  • Original scientific research reports
  • Research data
  • Objects or artifacts

Primary Sources on the Web

Books of Primary Sources

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