Primary sources are original items or records that have survived from the past, such as clothing letters, photographs, and manuscripts…they are part of a direct personal experience of a time or event. Primary sources are the raw materials of history — original documents and objects which were created at the time under study. They are different from secondary sources, accounts or interpretations of events created by someone without firsthand experience (from The Library of Congress).
Primary sources provide a window into the past and unfiltered access to the record of artistic, social, scientific and political thought and achievement during the specific period under study, produced by people who lived during that period. Bringing young people into close contact with these unique, often profoundly personal, documents and objects can give them a very real sense of what it was like to be alive during a long-past era.
- Engage Students
- Develop Critical Thinking Skills
- Construct Knowledge
Where Can I Find Digital Primary Sources?
Library of Congress Primary Sources
National/Domestic Primary Sources
International Primary Sources
Colorado Primary Sources
U.S. Historical Newspapers