Explore databases and resources relevant to research in German-language film, TV, and cinema culture. Use the tabs on the left to find specific types of resources, such as journal articles, books, and reference works
Questions? Need help? Contact Brian Vetruba, European Studies Librarian (firstname.lastname@example.org). You can also schedule an appointment with Brian.
Primary, Secondary and Background/References Sources -- what are the differences?
Primary sources are first-hand authoritative accounts of events, topics, historical periods, such as letters, speeches, diaries, interviews. They can also be creative works, such as novels, music, film, poetry, etc.
Secondary sources summarize, interpret or analyze information found in primary sources. Secondary sources are usually written by individuals who did not experience firsthand the events about which they are writing or create the creative works. Examples include articles about a novel, film and books on historical events.
Background/reference sources (also called tertiary sources) are entries in a reference book or on a scholarly website based entirely on secondary sources, rather than on original research involving primary documents. They present summaries of or an introduction to a topic, summarize or condense information from sources, or provide a list of primary and secondary sources.
There is overlap in some of the source types. For example, a newspaper article can provide a first-hand account of an event which would make it a primary source and another newspaper article can report about a past event (not first-hand) which would make it a secondary source.
For questions about sources, check with your instructor or Brian