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Subject Guide for Art & Art History.

Primary Resources

DEFINTION: Primary sources are original sources created at the time a historical event occurs and are directly associated with their producer (or user). They serve as the raw materials historians use to interpret / analyze the past.

Examples include:

  • Diaries
  • Letters
  • Newspapers
  • Government Documents
  • Photographs
  • Novels
  • Interviews
  • Photographs
  • Speeches
  • Clothing 

Try the primary resources subject guide

to learn how to access these materials. Also check out the

 primary resources tutorial


Find Primary Sources

For arts research, primary sources may include interviews, exhibition catalogs, pamphlets, oral histories, artists’ journals, or artists’ statements.