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What are Primary Sources?

Primary sources are records that provide firsthand accounts or evidence of historical events or experiences. You might also find primary source material reproduced within a secondary source, such as a published biography or documentary history book.

Types of primary sources can include:

Books                  Photographs and images             Magazine and Newspaper Articles

Letters                 Advertisements and Cartoons     Memoirs and Autobiographies

Interviews            Diaries and Journals                     Research Data and Statistics

Movies/Videos     Audio recordings                          Speeches and Public Opinion Polls

Primary Sources quiz

Check your knowledge by completing the activity below on primary and secondary sources

Databases with Primary Source Material

Historical newspapers and media

    Held in microfilm at the ADPML library

    Held in microfilm at the ADPML library

Institution web resources


 Trove - a great resource for finding books, images, historic newspapers, maps, music, archives and more.



Australian War Memorial - combines a shrine, a world-class museum, and an extensive archive


National Archives of Australia - preserves Australia’s most valuable government records and promotes good records management by Australian Government agencies.


  State Library of Victoria - Victoria's largest public reference library.


  The Museum of Australian Democracy - presents 110 key documents that are the foundation of our nation.


State Library of New South Wales - internationally renowned and one of Australia’s leading libraries.


  Public Record Office Victoria - holds the archives of the State Government of Victoria.