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EC Economic Theory Intermediate Topics in Microeconomics: Databases with primary documents

What is a primary source?

"Primary source"
describes material that is closest to the person, information, period, or idea being studied that was created in the time under study



  • an artifact, a document, a recording
  • new scientific data, results, and theories
  • official reports, speeches, pamphlets, posters, or letters by participants, and official election returns
  • records created by organizations, such as registers of births, tax records, charters, other legal documents, etc.
  • eyewitness accounts, oral interviews or documents created by a person with direct knowledge of a situation
  • diaries, films, biographies, leading philosophical works, scientific works
  • fictional sources such as novels or plays
  • physical objects like photographs, newsreels, coins, paintings or buildings

Secondary sources:

  • cite, comment on, or build upon primary sources

Note: a primary source may at times be treated like a secondary source