Searching for History
- Think of three sources of historical information and list them below.
- Sources of historical information are called primary or secondary.
Primary sources are those created by eyewitnesses to an event or who were part of that event. Secondary sources are those created by a person who was not present at the event but writes about it at a later time. Were the sources that you chose primary or secondary sources?
- The next thing to consider is whether you would believe the primary source. Is it reliable?
- If you believe the primary source to be reliable, then how do you understand what it is telling you? What things do you have to know? Have you ever read two accounts of the same event that did not match each other? How did you know which one was telling the "real story"? Are some sources more reliable than others?
*Adapted from worksheets designed and developed by the staff of the Education Branch, Office of Public Programs, National Archives, Washington, D.C. 20408