Finding Primary Sources: Moving Beyond the Teachers Page

 

Compass Rose from Map of Los Angeles

In a previous post, Cheryl Lederle provided suggestions on how to locate primary sources using resources from the Teachers Page. In addition to the materials found on the Teachers Page, there are many other resources on the Library of Congress website that teachers can use to find primary sources. Here are a few tools to add to your search tool kit.

A recent blog post highlighted how to locate maps using the global search function on the home page. You can limit search results by the original format of the item. When you get your search results, you can refine the list using the options on the left side. You can limit by subject, date, location and the way the item is presented online. In addition, you can decide how to display your search results either by relevance, title or date or in a list format, in a gallery of images with a brief description or in a grid of smaller images.

Today in History, March 27th

Another wonderful tool is Today in History, which provides information on an event or events that happened on a certain day in history. At the end of each story there is a list of links to additional resources from the Library’s website. These links can lead you to primary sources and can encourage deeper exploration of the Library’s collections.

For quick access to images on popular topics, the Prints and Photographs Division provides lists, including thumbnail images, for popular topics .

If you read further in the Teaching with the Library of Congress blog, you will find that the Library’s Educational Outreach staff really values Chronicling America, the collection of digitized historical newspapers. The newspapers are a treasure trove of eyewitness accounts of historical events. Topics in Chronicling America help users locate newspaper accounts of selected events.

Also don’t forget about the essays and special presentations that are included with many American Memory and Prints and Photographs collection descriptions. They provide useful information and links to primary sources from the collections.

What tools do you use to navigate the Library of Congress website when searching for primary sources?

9 Comments

  1. Kathleen
    June 21, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    I use Today in HIstory all the time. It a great resource.

  2. maxima
    June 22, 2012 at 11:03 am

    JUNE 22nd, 2012.

    Dear Sirs:

    I AM HERE TO GREET YOU GREAT TIMES ALSO I WANT TO CONMGRATULATE YOU FOR THE WONDERFULL WORK YOU ARE DOING IN POSTING ALL THIS INFORMATION.

    IN ADDITION , QUIERO FELICITAR A TODOS LOS PADRES EN SU DIA YA QUE EN PANAMA FUE DIA DEL PADRE EL DOMINGO PASADO.

    FOR ALL THE FATHERS IN AMERICA A VERY GREAT HUG.

    SINCERELY,

    MAXIMA AND FAMILIA RODRIGUEZ CASTILLO

  3. Rich Cairn
    June 22, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    National History Day is now offering awards (including cash prizes) to students who feature Chronicling America in their projects.

  4. Danna Bell-Russel
    June 22, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    We were really excited to see that this morning as were the folks that work on Chronicling America. We hope this brings even more people to their site.

  5. Cheryl Best
    June 22, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    Just looking at the collection discriptions get me thinking!

  6. Jennifer Simms-Ingraham
    July 24, 2016 at 10:26 pm

    Just looking at the resources got my attention.

  7. Marybeth Reilly
    July 26, 2016 at 10:34 pm

    Topics in Chronicling America can provide both news stories and political cartoons for use in our course.

  8. Marybeth Reilly
    July 26, 2016 at 10:35 pm

    Even advertisements during certain periods of history provide opportunities for students to make inferences about social norms of a given time.

  9. Paulette Bartolacci
    July 22, 2019 at 11:54 pm

    I love the fact you can pull up a newspaper from any time period to read an account as if you were there.

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