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Middle Eastern Studies

Resources for research on the Middle East

What is a Primary Source?

Primary Sources are generally defined as a document or object which was created during the time under study. Since these resources were present during this specific time period, they can offer an inside view of a particular event.

Examples of primary sources include - 

  • a first-hand account by a participant or observer close to the time of the event, as reported in an article, diary, journal, speech, interview, letter, e-mail, memorandum, or autobiography.

  • an original work of art or literature

  • visual images and/or audio recordings of an event

  • old maps

  • original research or raw data, including public opinion polls

  • a government document that is produced in the normal course of governing (a law, congressional hearing, treaty, regulation or court decision) and those that record an event (birth certificate), report data collected by the government (the census), or confer a right (a permit, license or patent).

  • records produced by organizations in the normal course of doing business

  • a laboratory report or field observation, including an ethnography

  • artifacts of any kind

Primary Sources

Primary source databases - by date

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