Synonyms for authenticity are Credibility/ Reliability and Truthfulness, and these words represent the demands that historians put on a primary source. To prove the sources’ authenticity, the historian needs to do a “source critique”. The proven “authenticity” of a source is very important for the historian, so that he/she can work with it and be sure that it could not be refuted by researcher. In fact, the whole work of a historian could be classified as defective as a result of a source being queried as inauthentic. So the confirmation of the “authenticity” of a source is a basic element of the historians’ work. The “authenticity” has to be proven for every source, even for digital sources. In summary that means that the “authenticity” is proven after the “source critique”, when the source critique shows that the source is not a replica of unreliable basis but is a true source from its original creator.


Authenticity, in:, URL: konsultiert am, 5. März 2016).

Howell, Martha/ Prevenir, Walter (Hg.), From Reliable Sources. An introduction to historical Methods, New York 2001.

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