Using Primary Sources - Teachers. Primary sources are the raw materials of history — original documents and objects which were created at the time under study.
They are different from secondary sources, accounts or interpretations of events created by someone without firsthand experience. Examining primary sources gives students a powerful sense of history and the complexity of the past. Helping students analyze primary sources can also guide them toward higher-order thinking and better critical thinking and analysis skills. Before you begin: National Archives Experience. NYPL Digital Collections.