Primary Sources

Primary source documents are artifacts created by individuals during a particular period in history. This could be a letter, speech, photograph or journal entry.  
 
The links below to access appropriate resources for your classroom projects.
 
*Remember to cite all resources used from these sites and any others you deem appropriate for your projects.* 
 

National Archives

The National Archives is a fantastic resource. Their website is easy to navigate and includes lots of teacher resources. They feature a daily historical document relating to an event from that day in history. The online catalog can be searched using keywords, and 100 "milestone" documents are identified as significant to American history.

DocsTeach

Also run by the National Archives, DocsTeach is full of activities for educators. The documents are organized by different periods in American history. If you're teaching "Civil War and Reconstruction" or "Revolution and the New Nation," just click on the topic to find hundreds of primary source documents. DocsTeach provides audio, video, charts, graphs, maps and more.

Spartacus Educational

Spartacus Educational is a great resource for global history. It contains free encyclopedia entries that directly connect to primary source documents, making it a perfect tool for educators looking to give students a starting point in their research. It can even be used for a historical figure scavenger hunt!

Fordham University

Fordham University is another good resource for global history. Similar to how DocsTeach organizes primary sources into periods of American history, this site categorizes documents as well. From the "Reformation" to "Post-World War II Religious Thought," teachers can find full texts available from Fordham or similar institutions. These sources are appropriate for the middle school and high school classroom.

The Avalon Project

Broken down by time period then listed in alphabetical order, the Avalon Project at Yale University also has primary sources for global history teachers. This database starts with ancient and medieval documents and moves into present times. In addition to categories that address specific historical periods, the Avalon Project includes links to human rights documents as part of Project Diana.

Life Magazine Photo Archive

Google and Life Magazine have a wonderful search engine that lets users search millions of images from the Life Magazine Photo Archive. Not only can you type in key terms to guide your searches, you can also look through images organized by decade (1860s through 1970s) or significant people, places, events or sports topics.

 
Citation:
 
Burns, Monica. "6 Free Online Resources for Primary Source Documents." Edutopia 6 Sept. 2013. Web. 9 Sept. 2013. <http://www.edutopia.org/blog/online-resources-primary-source-documents-monica-burns>.  

Annenberg Learner

 
Artifacts & Fiction is a professional development workshop series that guides teachers through pairing primary source materials with American literature texts. It draws from the online archive and video series of Annenberg Media's American Passages.
 
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