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African Literature and Arts

Guide to resources for African Literature and Arts

Advice for Using Primary Sources

Here are some links to help you find, analyze and work with primary sources.

Finding Historical Primary Sources - UC Berkeley Library

The 6Cs for Analyzing Primary Sources (PDF) - UCI History Project

Written Document Analysis Worksheet (PDF) - NARA


Primary Sources - Africana Studies

Primary source websites for Islamic History topics:

Definitions and Examples of Primary vs. Secondary Sources

Definitions Primary Secondary
  • Original, first-hand accounts
  • Sources written/made close to the time of the event
  • Original works of art and writing
  • Factual materials--not interpretive
  • Analysis or interpretation of another text or object
  • Second-hand account of an event or history
  • Interpretive and/or creative work
  • Reports of scientific disovery
  • Results of an experiment or clinical trial
  • Social and political science research results
  • Factual materials--not interpretive
  • Analysis or interpretation of research results or of a scientific discovery
Examples Primary Secondary
  • Diaries, letters, etc.
  • Factual articles
  • Government records
  • Photographs, maps, postcards, etc.
  • Speeches
  • Interviews
  • Songs, plays, novels, paintings, sculptures, etc.
  • Biographies, histories
  • Criticism and book, art, and theater reviews
  • Interpretive articles
  • Results of research studies, scientific experiments, and clinical trials
  • Proceedings of conferences and meetings
  • Publications about the significance of findings
  • Analysis of clinical trials
  • Review of the results of experiments and trials