A document which was written or created during the time under study.
Example of primary source
Declaration of Independence
Weakness of primary source
Typically comes from people in positions of power
Strength of primary source
Easy to decode
Evidence of alteration by humans
Examples of material culture
Music, grave treasures and recipes
Strength of material culture
Can be used to learn about virtually every aspect of human life.
Weakness of material culture
Can be difficult to share with other historians
Oral history tradition
Stories that are passed down from generation to generation.
Oral history interview
Used by families and organizations to preserve history and maintain archives of people and their stories through interview
Strength of oral history interview
The "most human" historical source
Weakness of oral history tradition
The story can change over time.
Strength of oral history tradition
Preserves the most important pieces of culture.
Weakness of oral history interview
Only applies to relatively recent historical events.