Secondary sources: Guide to Some Basic Archival Terms

Timeline | Evolution of Flight Chart | Guide to Some Basic Archival Terms

Archives and Manuscript Collections and Repositories
Records, in any physical form, produced by organizations or individuals in the course of activity over time and saved permanently for future study are referred to as archives and manuscript collection. These records are placed together in a collection or records series based upon the individual(s) or department(s) that created them. The Wright State University Wright brothers collection is an example of a manuscript collection. Centers that preserve historical records and make them available to researchers are called archives and manuscript repositories. The Wright State University Librariesí Special Collections and Archives department is an example of an archive and manuscript repository.


Professional who performs a wide array of duties within an archives and/or manuscript repository. These duties include: arranging, describing, and processing collections so that researchers can use them; assisting researchers; developing exhibits; and performing conservation work on deteriorating items.

Primary Sources

Sources that are of the time period in which they are written. Letters, speeches, photographs, audio recordings, and diaries are all primary sources.

Secondary Sources
Sources that are written after the time period that they are about. Biographies, articles, and history books are all examples of secondary sources.

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