Historical source is an original source that contains important historical information. These sources are something that inform us about history at the most basic level, and are used as clues in order to study history.

Historical sources can include coins, monuments, literary sources, documents, artifacts, archaeological sites, features, oral transmissions, stone inscriptions, paintings, recorded sounds, images and oral history. Even ancient relics and ruins, broadly speaking, are historical sources. The types of sources include primary sources, secondary sources and other historians added tertiary sources.


Primary source

Main article: Primary source

The natural morphological characters, the orographic and hydrographic structures, human interventions, buildings, infrastructures, archaeological finds, are "material sources that illustrate the uses and settlement forms of the past. The literary descriptions, the artistic images, the cartographic testimonies, are verbal or iconic sources able to provide other information, dictated by the historical subject who produced them. The historiographic synthesis project should bring together the different categories of sources, in the effort of a multidisciplinary investigation".[1]

Secondary source

Main article: Secondary source

This type of source generally includes evaluations of primary sources.[2]

Tertiary source

Main article: Tertiary source

This type of source is an index or textual consolidation of already published primary and secondary sources[3]

See also


  1. ^ C. Tosco, Il paesaggio come storia, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2007, p. 115 (ed. digit.: 2008, doi: 10.978.8815/140111, capitolo quinto: Per una storia dei paesaggi, doi chapter: 10.1401/9788815140111/c5).
  2. ^ Howell, Chuck. "Research Guides: JOUR458M - Special Topics in Journalism: Sports, Protest and the Media: Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Sources". lib.guides.umd.edu. Retrieved 2 June 2022.
  3. ^ Primary, secondary and tertiary sources. Archived 2013-07-03 at the Wayback Machine". University Libraries, University of Maryland. Retrieve 07/26/2013