25 February 2016

U.S. Primary Source Treasure Trove!

Primary Source Gold Mine
The internet is a wonderful place. It's a magical wonderland that lets you find everything you could possibly need as a teacher. However, it's also an incredibly nebulous space in which useful information can get lost in the static. One of the main reasons I started this blog was to share my discoveries that would make life easier for social studies teachers. This is why I'm excited to share this fantastic resource with you fine social studies educators today! Enough with the babble, why don't we get started?

Digital History

All Your U.S. Primary Sources in One Place
Created by the University of Houston, in conjunction with the Gilder Lehrman Collection and the National Endowment for the Humanities, Digital History is a veritable gold mine of U.S. primary source documents. The documents are organized by era, including:

The First Americans
Colonial Era
American Revolution
Early National Period
Pre-Civil War Era
Civil War
Gilded Age
America Becomes a World Power
Progressive Era
World War I
Great Depression
World War II
Post-War Era
Vietnam War
The 21st Century

But wait...there's more!! Not only does the Digital History website include thousands of primary sources, but within each historical era are sub-categories of specialty topics. Included are: a textbook, important events (in a timeline), important people (with links to their documents), famous music of the era, movies representing the era (and made during the era, if applicable), and images. You can also access a plethora of resources on specific topic. Some of the topics include: art, children's lives, and advertisements. This will give students practice at analyzing multiple mediums. 

Each era is broken down into sub-categories
Choose resources by topic

The collection of primary sources alone would be enough hit it out of the park; however Digital
The collection of handouts and lesson plans
History goes even further in making this my absolute favorite social studies primary source site ever. You can also access classroom-ready handouts and lesson plans that correlate with the primary sources. Overall, Digital History is simply the best archive for U.S. primary source documents out there! And the best part...it's all FREE!! If you are struggling to find worthy primary sources to use in your class, Digital History is the place to go. So what are you still doing here reading this? You have thousands of primary sources waiting to be sorted through in order to make your class the best one students attend every day!!

Sample of primary source handout


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