Re: Primary versus Secondary

Adrian Bruce

On Sat, 24 Sept 2022 at 19:33, Paul Gaskell via <> wrote:


If we are broadly agreeing that “the census” is a primary source, then a transcription thereof is a secondary source, and an index prepared from the transcription is a tertiary source.


Agreed - although genealogists don't normally seem to use the term "tertiary" (logical though it is in this case).

Curiously, I think from my memory of reading Wikipedia, that academic historians do use "tertiary". And just to confuse matters, my non-academic memory also tells me that their concept of "primary" is somewhat different from ours as they allow transcriptions of (say) Latin sources into English  to count as primary sources, whereas I would count them as secondary given that errors could occur in that translation.

In the end, the crucial bit is that you think if there might be errors, regardless, as I say, of the label.


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