The history of libraries began with the first efforts to organize collections of documents.
Topics of interest include accessibility of the collection, acquisition of materials,
arrangement and finding tools, the book trade, the influence of the physical properties of
the different writing materials, language distribution, role in education, rates of literacy,
budgets, staffing, libraries for specially targeted audiences, architectural merit, patterns of
usage, and the role of libraries in a nation's cultural heritage, and the role of government,
church or private sponsorship. Since the 1960s issues of computerization and digitization
come to the fore.
Primary source
In the study of history as an academic discipline, a primary source (also called an original
source) is an artifact, document, diary, manuscript, autobiography, recording, or any other
source of information that was created at the time under study. It serves as an original source of
information about the topic. Similar definitions can be used in library science, and other areas of
scholarship, although different fields have somewhat different definitions. In journalism, a
primary source can be a person with direct knowledge of a situation, or a document written by
such a person.
Secondary source
In scholarship, a secondary source is a document or recording that relates or discusses
information originally presented elsewhere. A secondary source contrasts with a primary source,
which is an original source of the information being discussed; a primary source can be a person
with direct knowledge of a situation, or a document created by such a person.
A secondary source is one that gives information about a primary source. In this source, the
original information is selected, modified and arranged in a suitable format. Secondary sources
involve generalization, analysis, interpretation, or evaluation of the original information.
The most accurate classification for any given source is not always obvious. Primary and
secondary are relative terms, and some sources may be classified as primary or secondary,
depending on how they are used. A third level, the tertiary source, such as an encyclopedia or
dictionary, resembles a secondary source in that it contains analysis, but attempts to provide a
broad introductory overview of a topic.
Historiography is the study of the methods of historians in developing history as an academic
discipline, and by extension is any body of historical work on a particular subject.
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