Q. What is a primary source document? How can I find one?


A primary source is an original object or document -- the raw material or first-hand information, source material that is closest to what is being studied.

Primary sources vary by discipline and can include historical and legal documents, eyewitness accounts, results of an experiment, statistical data, pieces of creative writing, and art objects. In the natural and social sciences, the results of an experiment or study are typically found in scholarly articles or papers delivered at conferences, so those articles and papers that present the original results are considered primary sources.

The library has created a research guide that further explains primary sources and shows how and where you can obtain them. Please see the link below.

For questions and further assistance, please contact the JPL Front Desk at 210-458-4574, or Chat With Us.


  • Last Updated Aug 02, 2020
  • Views 80
  • Answered By Jacob Sherman

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