Primary Sources are materials produced by people or groups directly involved in the event or topic under consideration, either as participants or as witnesses. These sources provide the evidence on which historians rely in order to describe and interpret the past.
Some primary sources are written documents, such as letters; diaries; newspaper and magazine articles; speeches; autobiographies; treatises; census data; and marriage, birth, and death registers. In addition, historians often examine primary sources that are not written, like works of art, films, recordings, items of clothing, household objects, tools, and archaeological remains.*
* Rampolla, Mary Lynn. A Pocket Guide to Writing in History. New York: Bedford/St. Martin's Press, 2012. Print.
Is it Primary? Questions to consider:
Begin with an observation of the document in term of it as an object:
(courtesy of University of Connecticut Libraries)