A primary source is a work that was written [created] at a time that is contemporary or nearly contemporary with the period or subject being studied. Primary sources are the direct evidence or first hand accounts of historical events without secondary analysis or interpretation. Some examples of primary sources include diaries, letters, memos, photographs, records of organizations, articles written at the time about a particular event, and artifacts (art, buildings, furniture, clothing, toys, tools, etc.).
Scholars in the humanities have access to more and more content available in digital format. UBC Library has purchased many of these databases rich in primary resources and continues to expand its holdings in this area. For example, try searching adam matthew or alexander street press under Indexes and databases.
The Library has an excellent collection of full-text newspapers which provide researchers with quick access to historical newspaper articles. For a complete listing of newspapers, see the guide: Newspapers and News Sources.