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Professional Writing and Communications

Identifying Primary and Secondary Source

 

A primary source is an original document, image or artifact. These sources offer first hand accounts of an event from a newspaper article, diary, letter, interview or photograph. An artifact, is an object made by someone, and provides cultural and historical insight into a particular era.

A secondary source will interpret or analyze a topic.  These sources usually appear in books, magazine and journal articles, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and biographies.

Digital Primary Sources at Humber

Digital Primary Sources from the Toronto Public Library

Toronto Public Library Digital Archives

Searchable full-page reproductions of newspapers from the 1800s to the recent past.

Toronto Star Historical Newspaper Archive

Articles and full-page reproductions of the complete newspaper from 1894-2016.
 

Globe and Mail Historical Newspaper Archive

Articles and full-page reproductions of the complete newspaper from 1844-2015.