Publication Date

January 2005


The importance of primary source materials to scholarship is undeniable. Primary source materials can verify or contradict information accepted as true in history books and other secondary sources. They can tell the whole, or at least more complete, story of events. Unlike secondary sources, primary source materials offer first-hand accounts from the past, bringing history closer and making it feel more real. It can even be argued that primary source materials are less susceptible than published texts to the loss or misinterpretation of information over time in subsequent edition revisions. In particular among primary source materials, manuscripts such as diaries and letters offer glimpses into history where historic figures are untainted and unskewed by the biographers and scholars who interpret them. Unpublished manuscripts have not usually been censored or edited to reflect modern thoughts, beliefs, or politically correct views the way secondary sources often are.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.