Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
New York Tech Returns: What to know about using NYIT Libraries for Summer 2021. View the latest information

Education: Primary Sources

Find and access online/electronic, print and media resources supporting education research, classroom teaching methods, learning solutions, and more.

About these Resources

 Primary sources are original sources. For example, a government study presenting education statistics based upon observation, on-site measurement, and/or data collection, is a primary source.

Books or journal articles interpreting or otherwise discussing such data are secondary sources. NYIT instructors might, on occasion, require you to find and incorporate into your research paper material from one or more primary sources.

This list contains links to a number of primary sources OR to sources discussing how effectively to find and use primary sources in the classroom.

Primary Sources


Photographer: Jeff Ratcliff

Primary Document Sources / How to Use Primary Sources in the Classroom

American Memory (Library of Congress) (18 categories, including...)
...American Memory: Technology, Industry / War, Military / Etc.
Archives Resource Center (ARC) : From state archives, for classroom use.
Primary Sources on the Web (History/Social Studies) (Education Place, Houghton Mifflin)
Teaching with Documents
: Lesson plans + links to documents (The National Archives)

Clarification/Definitions: Primary, Secondary, Tertiary Sources

 The University of Maryland defines, differentiates, and clarifies PRIMARY, SECONDARY, and TERTIARY sources HERE.


Brief Definitions w/ Examples

Primary source: Original material. Examples: Original research, diaries, interviews, conference proceedings, autobiographies -- all created in the time period involved without subsequent interpretation.

Secondary source: Interpretations or evaluations of primary sources. Examples: Biographies, textbooks, criticism/reviews.

Tertiary source: Collection and distillation of primary and secondary sources. Examples: Almanacs, directories, fact books, guide books.

NOTE: Definitions can vary depending upon discipline and/or context.

© 2020 New York Institute of Technology