Skip to Main Content
Mary Baldwin University Logo
Martha S. Grafton Library

European History: Primary sources

Guide to resources in European history, including reference works, databases, and websites.

Primary Sources

Primary sources are those sources of information closest to a person, event, or particular time period.  They are original sources of information, which have not been edited or analyzed by later scholars.  Some examples of primary sources include:

  • autobiographies
  • diaries/personal narratives
  • letters/correspondence
  • memoirs
  • documents/sources
  • photographs
  • statistics
  • newspaper articles from the time period
  • and works of art (novels, poems, paintings, etc.)

Primary documents

Historical Newspapers

Multimedia Primary Sources

Newreels, interviews, and archival footage can all be used as primary sources.