Answered By: Desk Reference Last Updated: Aug 27, 2020
In general, you can think of primary sources as those bits of information that were created at the time you're studying. When studying historical events or time periods, these would be any documents that were created during or surrounding that event. Diaries, letters, photographs, newspaper articles, etc., all make for excellent primary sources. Other subjects use primary sources differently. In literature, a primary source would be the literary works you're studying, or perhaps any documents about the author's life or the time period when they were alive. Science and social science often look at the raw data created by lab experiments, social surveys, or interviews, as primary sources.
Secondary sources use evidence from primary sources, or other secondary sources, to draw conclusions about a certain topic. This may take the form of a research article, literature review, book, or book chapter, among others.
The UW Archives has primary sources related to the university, the surrounding community, and other groups or individuals that you may find useful. Also, the library has published collections of primary source documents that you can borrow. Find out more about locating primary sources in the library here: https://library.uwinnipeg.ca/help-with-research/locating-primary-sources.html