According to the Society of American Archivists, a primary source is "Material that contains firsthand accounts of events and that was created contemporaneous to those events or later recalled by an eyewitness." (Check out Primary Sources on the Web: Finding, Evaluating, Using)
Students can obtain primary sources using a variety of methods:
Secondary sources are books, periodical articles, and other resources that interpret, analyze, represent, or discuss. Many resources can be considered either a primary source or a secondary source, depending on the context.