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Theater Subject Guide: Primary & Secondary Sources

The Theater Appreciation Guide was created for students in THEA 1100.

Primary defined

A Primary Source is an original work of literature or art or a first-hand account of an event that has not been interpreted by anyone other than its creator. These sources were either created during the time period being studied, or were created at a later date by someone who participated in the events (ex: memoirs). They reflect the individual viewpoint of a participant or observer. Some examples:

First-Person Narratives of the American South


Southeastern Native American Documents, 1730-1842

How to determine if your source is primary or secondary:

Secondary defined

A Secondary Source is any information written ABOUT the primary source text.  Secondary sources also provide interpretation, commentary and analysis, and criticism of an historical event.  These events are recounted by people who were not first-hand witnesses of the event (generally at least one step removed from the event). 

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