Definition of Primary Sources

A primary source provides a original first-hand record or report of what was done, thought and felt at a particular time and place.  Examples include manuscripts, letters, diaries, correspondence, scrapbooks, and other personal records.   These provide the raw material for interpretation and analysis by historians and others.   Learn more about primary resources at Oswego and beyond. 


Penfield’s Regional News Databases – Current and Historic list is a good place to find out what area newspapers are available electronically or on microfilm and what volumes are indexed.  

Regional historic digital newspaper repositories include indexed files of 19th and 20th century newspapers for Oswego County and New York State and are part of the New York State Historic Newspapers digitized newspaper collection.

Newspapers - Primary of Secondary?

In many instances a newspaper article is considered primary source. However, this is only true when discussing newspaper articles which are used for historical research. This is because newspaper articles, written about a specific event immediately after its occurrence, can be viewed as primary sources.

Newspaper Articles

Hermann Kr├╝si Papers Correspondence with Takamine

Hideo Takamine boarded with the Dr. Hermann Krüsi family in Oswego.  Dr. Krüsi was an Oswego Normal School professor.  Takamine remained in Oswego with the Krüsi’s until March 1878.  “. . . had graduated at the end of the previous term, had pursued voluntarily during the autumn some studies . . .”  Recollections of My Life by Dr. Hermann Krüsi, page 252.

Examples of the letters between Herman Krusi and Hideo Takamine are below.

Learn More: Pick a letter and read it  ---  If you can't read it click the link to see a typed transcription of each letter.