The first step in creating a citation for a primary source is to gather as much information as possible about the source. Here is a list of the pieces of information you should try to identify:
Once you've identified as much information about the source as you can, you can begin to build your citation. The structure of the citation will be dependent on the citation style you are using (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.) and the format of the source material (article, book, letter, map, photograph, etc.).
Use the links below to find citation structures in MLA style for a variety of source formats (note: Citing Primary Sources from the Library of Congress may be the most helpful). With primary sources, you may not find an exact match for the format of the source as many primary sources a unique. Find a format that most closely matches your source and use that as the basis for building your citation.