Finding Primary Sources
Archives, libraries, and other repositories around the world have posted online collections of primary materials. Many of these web sites also include lesson plans and worksheets to help students learn how to analyze and interpret the sources.
- American Journeys—Wisconsin Historical Society
- American Memory—Library of Congress
- Archival Research Catalog—National Archives and Records Administration
- Archives Center—National Museum of American History
- Archives of American Art—Smithsonian Institution
- Archives of American Gardens—Smithsonian Institution
- Digital Librarian—University of Michigan
- EDSITEment—National Endowment for the Humanities
- Exploring Florida—University of South Florida
- Florida Folklife from WPA Collections, 1937–1942—Library of Congress
- Florida Electronic Library—State Library of Florida
- Florida Historical Society
- Florida Memory Program—Florida History Fair Resources
- Florida Memory Program—State Archives of Florida
- Freedom's Journal—Wisconsin Historical Society
- Freer/Sackler Gallery of Art Archives—Smithsonian Institution
- Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
- Index of Native American History Sources on the Internet — Karen Strom
- Iowa Women's Archives—University of Iowa Libraries
- Manuscript Reading Room — Library of Congress
- Morehouse Martin Luther King Collection—Atlanta University Center
- National Air and Space Museum Archives—Smithsonian Institution
- National Anthropological Archives—Smithsonian Institution
- National Archives and Records Administration
- National Museum of African Art Archives—Smithsonian Institution
- National Museum of the American Indian—Smithsonian Institution
- National Register Research—National Register of Historic Places
- National Security Archive—George Washington University
- New Deal Network—Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute
- Newspapers, 1700â€“2004—History Buff
- Our Documents—National Archives and Records Administration
- Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study—Harvard University
- Research Links—National History Day
- Resources in Black Studies—University of California Santa Barbara Libraries
- Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum
- Smithsonian Institution Archives
- Southern Historical Collection—University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- Using Primary Sources—ProTeacher
- Women's History Resources — University of Wisconsin Libraries
Lesson Plans and Activity Ideas
Numerous web sites present lesson plans and classroom ideas that use primary sources as a central element of the activity.
American Memory Learning Page—Library of Congress
1. The home page provides links to historical collections on the Web, resources for teachers, and lesson plans.
2. An excellent lesson plan introduces students to primary sources and presents activities that teach techniques for analyzing such materials.
EDSITEment—National Endowment for the Humanities
Drawing on humanities resources from some of the world's great museums, libraries, cultural institutions, and universities, EDSITEment offers lesson plans relating to art and culture, literature and language arts, foreign language, and history and social studies.
Florida Memory Project—Florida State Archives
With more than 200,000 photographs online, the Florida Photographic Collection offers the most complete portrait of Florida available. The "Collections" and "Highlights of Florida History" include more than 100,000 images. The "Online Classroom" has historically significant units based on primary sources, with lesson plans correlated to the Sunshine State Standards.
School Programs for Students and Teachers—Maryland Historical Society
A set of nine worksheets teach students how to distinguish between primary and secondary sources, interpret different types of sources (broadsides/ads, documents, maps, pictures, objects, and oral histories), and turn an idea into a research project.
Smithsonian Education—Smithsonian Institution
Primary source-based lesson plans on a variety of topics, as well as information about publications, field trips, and professional development opportunities, are presented on the Web site of the nation's premier museum complex.
Teacher Resources—Ohio Historical Society
Materials downloaded from the Internet are the basis for a lesson that outlines a simple strategy for introducing the analysis and evaluation of primary source documents.
The Digital Classroom—National Archives and Records Administration
More than sixty lesson plans and activity ideas explore topics in American history, organized by eras. Reproducible copies of primary documents from the National Archives holdings and analysis worksheets for seven primary source types are provided.