Primary sources are letters, diaries, memos, meeting minutes, interviews, audiovisual recordings, and photographs. Essentially they are the “raw materials of history” that provide a firsthand account of an event or time period. Primary sources allow researchers (you) to get as close as possible. Secondary resources are created after an event or time period, and typically by someone without firsthand experience. Secondary sources often include analysis or commentary, and they might cite primary resources. Common secondary sources include scholarly books, magazines, and newspaper articles.
The University Archives acknowledges that our collections fail to represent the experiences and contributions of the entire CMU community. As part of the ROAR or Repairing Our Archival Record initiative, we are working to build a more inclusive archive, one that better represents CMU's whole community. We are also actively engaging in reparative archival practices.
Check out our 2020 exhibit What We Don't Have: Confronting the Absence of Diversity in the University Archives to learn more.
An archives is a wonderful place where people can go to enrich their understanding of the world by gathering firsthand facts, data, and evidence from letters, reports, notes, memos, photographs, and other primary sources. Unlike other resources at the University Libraries, materials in the University Archives cannot be checked out. Additionally, the archives are "closed stacked," which means they are not browseable like the shelves of books in a traditional library.
At Carnegie Mellon University Archives, you can:
The Carnegie Mellon University Archives are open to all, regardless of academic affiliation.