documentary sources, what are they

documentary sources, what are they?


And what are documentary sources?

Well, a documentary source shows the origin of the information, without further distinction. DOCUMENTARY SOURCES are the documents, testimonies, events or objects that convey significant information about the origin of the information. As simple as that.

Depending on its origin and origin, a documentary source can be:

Primary source: is that source whose composition of the content it has is original. It can be said that it is the ORIGINAL and NEW SOURCE: primal. A typical example would be historiography (RAE: Discipline that deals with the study of history).

Secondary font: it is a document or text … in whatever format, which is based on primary sources.

Tertiary source: Finally, a compendium of the above is the tertiary source, which would be a selection or collection of primary and secondary sources. In this case we find those sources that give us information, such as a bibliography, a library catalog, summaries, etc.


By its form of expression, the documentary sources can be:


At this point, we find written, iconographic, audiovisual, oral and archaeological sources. According to his expression, as the word itself indicates.

  1. Oral source. That which is transmitted orally.
  2. Written or textual source. Those that we find in manuscripts, books, texts of all kinds. They are usually the most frequent sources because since ancient times it has been tried to record the events, discoveries. In this case, the Internet would be an example of this type of source.
  3. Together with all of them we find archaeological sources, also called material sources. That one, whose origin is in the localized remains. We can talk about the sources coming from our own existence, from daily life and customs acquired over time.
  4. Iconographic sources are those that include images, whatever they may be: pictorial paintings, a drawing in a cave of primitive men and women, a photograph, etc.
  5. Audiovisual source. It is about everything that includes image and sound, from radio broadcasts, television, cinema, etc.
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documentary sources, what are they
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DOCUMENTARY SOURCES are documents, testimonies, events or objects that convey significant information about the origin of the information. Y...
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Actually Notes Magazine
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Lilian M

Journalism student. Publishing in digital media since 2015. I am passionate about writing and I take my work very seriously: I consult sources, I seek impartiality and objectivity as a good professional.

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