Vietnam war

Primary and Secondary sources

Primary Sources (social sciences and humanities):

Primary sources of information provide first-hand accounts of the event you are researching. Generally, they are works created by the witnesses or “first recorders” of the event at or near the time it occurred. They are important sources of information to historians.

Examples of primary sources may include:

  • contemporary accounts in newspapers, magazines and other publications from the period in question;
  • letters, diaries, autobiographies or memoirs, photographs;
  • government documents, reports, financial records, memos
  • creative works or other materials. 

Secondary Sources

Secondary sources are created by people who were not a witness to the event. They describe, analyze, interpret, or review the event (or the primary source). Secondary sources are likely written years after the event of interest and include additional perspectives and historical context. Recent works are valued because they include criticism and updates to scholarly knowledge on the event or topic of interest.  

Example of secondary sources may include: 

  • scholarly books or articles
  • encyclopedias

Vietnam Era Web Resources

Vietnam Primary Sources: OHS Books

Museums and Archives

Primary Sources: Vietnam War

Primary Sources: Vietnam War Protests

Vietnam War: Background

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