Primary sources are characterized by their content, regardless of whether they are available in original, microfilm/microfiche, digital format, or published format. Historians carefully read and evaluate primary sources to make decisions about how and why things happened as they did.
A secondary source is a work that interprets or analyzes an historical event or phenomenon. It is generally at least one-step removed from the event. Examples include scholarly or popular books and articles, reference books, and textbooks.
A comprehensive guide to HOW TO READ A PRIMARY SOURCE and on ANALYZING DOCUMENTS can be found here:
Emory University makes a good deal of primary sources available to students in a digital format. To see the complete list of digitized primary source databases available to students, click here
Below you will find a select list of databases that are particularly appropriate for your coursework. This list is not exhaustive.