Historians divide sources into two distinct categories -- primary and secondary sources. Primary sources include any original material from the time period, or individual, being studied. They are the original works, without analysis or interpretation. Secondary sources are works that critically examine and analyze primary sources. While in other contexts, the word "criticism" can have negative connotations in English, this is not necessarily the case when it comes to historical criticism where the analysis simply presents an interpretation of the historical facts and is, essentially, neutral.