Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book/Genealogy/Primary and secondary sources
A primary source (also called original source) is a document, recording or other source of information (paper, picture,....etc.) that was created at the time being studied, by an authoritative source, usually one with direct personal knowledge of the events being described. It serves as an original source of information about the topic. Primary sources are distinguished from secondary sources, which often cite, comment on, or build upon primary sources.
Examples would include:
- Birth, Marriage, and Death certificates
- Family Bibles (if recorded by someone witnessing the event shortly after it occurred.
- Letters describing the events as they are taking place by a person involved.
A secondary source is a document or recording that relates or discusses information originally presented elsewhere. A secondary source contrasts with a primary source, which is an original source of the information being discussed. Secondary sources involve generalization, analysis, synthesis, interpretation, or evaluation of the original information. Primary and secondary are relative terms, and some sources may be classified as primary or secondary, depending on how it is used.
- History books
- Letters written well after the event
- Oral histories as told by someone without first-hand knowledge of the event.