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Primary Sources

Finding Current Primary Sources

It can often be challenging to locate current, contemporary primary sources for your research. Below are some types of primary sources and where you might find access to them. Typically, because these sources have been created recently, the best option is to see if you can see find them where they were produced. 

Types of Primary Sources: Where you can find them?
Social media Social media platforms
Interviews, News Articles, Op-Eds News outlets
Documentaries Library databases and search engines
Government reports Government websites

 

We have the following databases that have current documentaries on a variety of topics. You can also search for documentary videos in our catalog, DELCAT Discovery. 

Examples of Documentary Websites:

Consider the following questions and points when evaluating current primary sources. 

Author 

  • Who created this source? 
  • What authority do they have on the subject?
  • How do you know, based on your past experiences, that this person or organization has authority?

Publisher/Platform

  • Where was this source published or posted?
  • Does the platform the source was published/posted in/on change perspective of the source?

Purpose

  • Why was this source created? 
  • Who was the intended audience? 
  • Was there a sponsoring organization invested in its creation?

Content

  • What is the main idea of the primary source?
  • What can you observe about the primary source?
  • Has the source been altered in any way from the original?

Context

  • What questions could be answered by using this source?
  • How does this source fit into other scholarly narratives? Does it challenge those narratives?

Limitations

  • What biases or assumptions might have influenced the author or creator?

Connections

  • How does this source fit into my knowledge about this topic?