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Historical Sources Overview

People living in the past left many clues which we can use to investigate aspects of their lives. These items can include books, personal papers, government documents, letters, oral accounts, diaries, maps, photographs, reports, artefacts, coins, stamps and many other things including novels and short stories.

Historians call all of these clues the historical record.

They are all sources of information which can be used to find out about the past.

Primary sources are actual records that have survived from the past, such as letters and ducuments, photographs and objects.

A history textbook is a secondary source. It was written by someone long after historical events took place.

The primary and secondary sources in this teaching and learning package include items that are available from Lincolnshire County Council’s museum, archive and library collections.

  • Newpaper reports
  • Posters
  • Photographs
  • Memories and stories by people who remembered life duiring WWII
  • Original and reproduction artefacts
  • Fiction
  • Biographies

Customer Notice: Online Ordering

Please do not use the online ordering system which is currently not working. We apologise to customers for any inconvenience this will cause.


Thousands of digital images of documents are available to view on the website and images can be ordered offline. For instructions on how to place an order please visit the 'Buy Images' page.


If you have any queries about ordering digital images please email Lincs to the Past Orders@lincolnshire.gov.uk.


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Last updated: 25 February 2011

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