A Primary source is a first hand or eye witness account of an event. A primary sources enables a researcher to get a clear picture of what actually happened during an historical event or a particular time period.
A Secondary source is a source that analyzes, relates, evaluates, or criticizes based on information gathered from primary sources.
Examples of Primary Sources:
Diaries and Journals
Documents produced by government agencies such as Congress
Examples of Secondary Sources:
Recently published articles on historical topics
Newspaper editorials or articles reporting on previous findings
Books that include analysis, commentary, or criticism
"American Memory provides free and open access through the Internet to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience. It is a digital record of American history and creativity. These materials, from the collections of the Library of Congress and other institutions, chronicle historical events, people, places, and ideas that continue to shape America, serving the public as a resource for education and lifelong learning."