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Economics Resources at the UTM Library

A subject guide listing library resources for students enrolled in courses offered by the Department of Economics at UTM.

Primary Sources

When conducting research, the ability to distinguish between primary and secondary source material is essential​

A primary source is a document that was created at the time of the event or subject you've chosen to study, or by people who were observers, or participants in that event or topic. What makes the source a primary source is when it was made, not what it is.

Primary sources are:

  • first-hand accounts of events
  • materials created by participants or witnesses of the event/s under study
  • original records created art the time that events occured
  • raw data

Examples of primary sources include:

  • Official records: cabinet papers, diplomatic dispatches, legislation and case law, parish records, parliamentary debates, treaties, censuses and statistics.
  • Published sources: newspapers, magazines, literature, songs, advertisements, interviews, speeches, memoirs, autobiographies, works of art, photographs, television and radio shows.
  • Private sources: letters, wills, diaries, contracts, home video and audio recordings, receipts, leases, loans, birth and death certificates.


Find a selection of primary sources​ in the Primary Sources page of the Management Resources subject guide. 

Secondary Sources

Secondary sources are:

  • Works that discuss a subject, but which are written after the time that the event/s occurred (by someone other than an eyewitness).
  • Works that contain explanations/interpretations/analysis/judgments/discussions of past events.