What Are Historical Sources?

Last Updated: 07/04/2014 - 17:34

A historical source is something that tells us about History. It may be a document, a picture, a sound recording, a book, a cinema film, a television programme or an object.

There are two main types of historical source:

  • Primary Sources and Secondary Sources
  • A Primary source is something that originates from the past.

A Secondary source is something that has been made recently about the past, for example:

A Roman coin that was made by the Romans is a Primary Source, but a drawing of a Roman coin made in 2003 would be a Secondary Source.

OR

A Book written about the Tudors in 1525 would be a Primary Source, but a book written about the Tudors in 1995 would be a Secondary Source.

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