Primary sources are the items that get you as close as possible to the answer to your historical question. If you ask "Why did the chicken cross the road?" then the best, primary source might be to ask the chicken (oral interview). This is, however, history and the chicken might have already passed on to the great chicken coop or the chicken might be have an unreliable memory. In those cases, the best source might be the chicken's diary or a newspaper covering that historic road-crossing. In that situation, the newspaper is the document/object that gets you closest to an accurate answer, making it the primary source.
Examples of sources that might be primary include:
Primary sources may be available in many different formats:
You may need to explore several different mediums and locations to discover relevant primary sources for your research. To access several of those repositories look at the History Research Guide to access different collections of sources by type or geographic place.
Search the physical collections at BC Libraries to find primary sources on a particular topic:
Other primary sources are available through digital collections and primary source databases.
When searching for primary sources in the BC Catalog, WorldCat, or any library catalog, try adding the following terms to your search: