Key characteristics of primary sources include:
- The context of the event;
- The people involved in the event;
- Location of the event;
- The timeline of the event;
- First person accounts about what transpired during the event;
- What was said and who said it;
- Emotions underpinning the event; and
- Official documents, publications or media associated with the event.
Primary sources can include:
- Autobiographies, memoirs, diaries and personal journals;
- Paintings, drawings, sound recordings, films, videos and photographs;
- Newspaper and magazine accounts;
- Speeches and debates;
- Official public & private documents (Government reports, laws and regulations, annual reports, business and organizational filings, etc.); and
- Scholarly publications and reports that present original research and findings.