Interactive Primary Source Analysis Tool: New from the Library of Congress

New Interactive Primary Source Analysis Tool

Many of the posts on this blog suggest having students record their observations and thoughts on a primary source analysis tool. The Library of Congress recently launched an interactive online version with built-in sample questions to offer students guidance and to prompt further observation, reflective thinking, and questioning.

In addition to offering prompts, the new analysis tool has custom options to email, print, or download for future reference. The email and print options, accessible from the bottom of the page, include spaces for recording information about the primary source, the student’s name, date, and class period, if desired.

Take a look! Then please add a comment to let us know what you think.


  1. Susan Johnson
    July 10, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    Thank you! Our students use iPads in the classroom and you have made this an even better “tool” to use. We’ll not only be able to integrate it better with our materials, but love that we’re not using so much paper.

  2. Anne Corsetti
    July 11, 2012 at 11:14 am

    I can’t wait to try the interactive PSA tool with my students. I love the way that anyone who wishes prompting can click on the question mark. This online tool would also facilitate “flipping” class work by assigning primary source analysis to be done at home and then having discussion during class time.

  3. A Karyadi
    July 16, 2012 at 10:34 am

    I love the prompting questions too. Two things I’d like to see: A box for students to type their name (in case they ARE printing it out), and an option at the bottom for students to record the bibliographic information (once the activity is over). I could do without this second option by having students put it into the “further investigation” section, but the Name box is pretty important for me.

  4. Cheryl Lederle
    July 16, 2012 at 10:38 am

    A Karyadi: Spaces for students to add their name, a class, and identifying information about the primary source is available if you go to the bottom of the page and select either the print or e-mail option. We’re glad that’s valuable to you!

  5. Anthony Salciccioli
    September 20, 2012 at 11:10 am

    This is outstanding and I’m appreciative that it has been posted. Perfect for the computer lab and more in line with how my students are learning. Our copy machine will get a break now….

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