Sources: the Building Blocks of History.


Historians use Sources to Find Out about the Past.

1. Sources are things that historians use to find out about and make sense of the past.

2. They can be written (e.g. newspapers, government reports) or visual (e.g. photographs, maps, films).

3. Sources can be categorised as either primary or secondary:

Primary sources - evidence from the period you're studying.

For example, a newspaper report from the First World War from 4th September 1914, or a picture of Henry VIII that was painted during his reign.

Secondary sources - evidence about (but not from) the period you're studying.

For example, a 1989 book called 'Origins of the First World War', or a website providing information about all the portraits ever painted of Henry VIII.

Historians Have To Interrogate And Interpret Every Source.

1. Historians have to be very careful with sources. To make sure they're usin sources accurately, historians interrogate every source they use. This means they ask themselves a series of questions about the source's background.

  • What is the source? E.g. It is a painting of King Henry VIII.
  • Who made…


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