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InfoGuides | Pepperdine Libraries

Religion: Primary Sources

This guide provides access to recommended research resources for religion

What is a Primary Source

A primary source is "first-hand" information, sources as close as possible to the origin of the information or idea under study. Primary sources are contrasted with secondary sources, works that provide analysis, commentary, or criticism on the primary source. In literary studies, primary sources are often creative works, including poems, stories, novels, and so on. In historical studies, primary sources include written works, recordings, or other source of information from people who were participants or direct witnesses to the events in question. Examples of commonly used primary sources include government documents, memoirs, personal correspondence, oral histories, and contemporary newspaper accounts.

Primary Sources at Pepperdine

Special Collections and University Archives at Pepperdine includes many primary sources relevant to religion research. Examples include 19th-century religious periodicals and books, early printed Bibles from as early as 1560, a facsimile of the Codex Sinaiticus, and correspondence and documents from notable individuals associated with Pepperdine University and the Churches of Christ.

To use these resources, see the Special Collections and University Archives website, or contact Melissa Nykanen at or at (310) 506-4434. 

Primary Literature Resources Found Online

Primary Sources in the Databases