Skip to Main Content

HIST 4344 - Witchcraft and the Occult in Early Modern Europe

Primary versus Secondary Sources

Primary vs. Secondary Sources:  What is the difference?

Primary sources are accounts recorded by people with immediate access to the information.  Examples of primary sources important in historical research are: newspapers, documents of state, diaries, letters, and accounts by reliable witnesses.

Secondary sources provide indirect exposure, such as books or periodical articles not based on first hand observation of the event, person or place.

Examine the resources available that cover different time periods and historical events:  books, biographies, scholarly journals, newspapers, microform collections, encyclopedias, handbooks, bibliographies, and periodical indexes. 

After your initial exploration, consult with your professor regarding your proposed topic, if necessary.

Primary Sources on the Web

Credit: These sources come from a variety of library guides created by librarians at other universities:

UCORE-1440-04 European Witch Hunts - Tracey Pepper - SU Libguides at Seattle University. updated 2-25-15