Primary Sources are those documents and other material that allow you to come closest to answering your research question. If, for example, you are interested in understanding women's life in China during the 17th century (1600s), then you'll want to find sources Chinese women wrote about their lives during the Ming (lasted until 1644) or Qing (1644-1912) dynasties. 17th century male, Jesuit priests from Rome writing about those women offer useful material - but those sources are only primary if you can't get the texts written by Chinese women.
To find relevant sources--particularly if language is an issue--it can be helpful to look for document collections (also called readers or anthologies) of texts on specific topics, temporal periods, and/or geographic spaces. Below, you'll find a few suggestions. If you have questions, contact the History Librarian Bee Lehman.
This page has a lot on it. You can use the following anchors (links down the page) to jump straight to a relevant box.