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Word of the Week: Primary Sources

May 7, 2008
By Matt Bailey

Want to see a librarians' eyes roll back into their heads? Ask where they keep the primary sources.

Primary sources are fundamental, authoritative documents or publications (like the Declaration of Independence or Salem Witch Trial transcripts), original material such as letters and manuscripts, literary works, scientific research reports, contemporaneous news accounts and interviews. Primary sources are the materials that are used to build history.