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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 

Find Primary Sources

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