WHAT ARE PRIMARY SOURCES?
- Primary sources are materials containing firsthand evidence of historical events, usually recorded by someone who participated in, witnessed, or lived through the event.
Primary sources may include letters, manuscripts, diaries, journals, newspapers, speeches, interviews, memoirs, documents produced by government agencies, photographs, research data, and objects or artifacts such as works of art, or artifacts such as tools and weapons. These sources serve as the raw material to interpret the past, and when they are used along with previous interpretations by historians, they provide the resources necessary for historical research.
[adapted from American Library Association, Reference & User Services Association -- History Section]
- The following guides discuss two types of media-related primary source materials. They provide information about how to locate these types of materials in the UC Berkeley library and beyond:
Moving Image and Sound Primary Source Materials
- These materials include:
Non-fiction films such as newsreels and historical broadcast news; historical and documentary film footage; recorded speeches and debates; filmed interviews; political and social propaganda; and commercial and political advertisements.
Historical and contemporary fictional films (theatrical movies), which can often provide valuable insights into the social and political attitudes of the times in which they were made.
Printed Primary Source Materials Related to Cinema, the Motion Picture Industry, and Television
- These resources include historical trade publications and catalogs; printed interviews and first-person narratives; historical reviews and critical articles; and other printed materials related to the production and reception of earlier movies.
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