A Primary Source is an original work of literature or art or a first-hand account of an event that has not been interpreted by anyone other than its creator. These sources were either created during the time period being studied, or were created at a later date by someone who participated in the events (ex: memoirs). They reflect the individual viewpoint of a participant or observer. Some examples:
A Secondary Source is any information written ABOUT the primary source text. Secondary sources also provide interpretation, commentary and analysis, and criticism of an historical event. These events are recounted by people who were not first-hand witnesses of the event (generally at least one step removed from the event).