High School
History & Social Studies

Amazing Primary Sources from the Library of Congress

In my opinion, there's no better way to get students excited about history than by reading, listening, or viewing documents and photographs that put a human face on history. This collection will help you use the extensive resources of the Library of Congress to teach your students how to become young historians. Don't miss the Veterans History Project resource, which includes instructions on how your high school students can contribute their own interviews!
A Collection By Amelia Franz
  • 8 Collection Items
  • 8 Collection Items
  • Discussion
Amazing Primary Sources from the Library of Congress
  • Amelia Franz says:
    You'll find an alphabetic listing of some of the most commonly researched topics on this page. Clicking on "Benjamin Franklin," for example, takes you to a short page linked to "Introduction," "Resources," "Franklin's Autobiography," "Bibliography," and "External Web Sites."
  • Amelia Franz says:
    On this page, you can find lesson plans, professional development resources, and a link to the Teaching With Primary Sources Journal. The lesson plans are filterable by Common Core Standards, state content, grade, and subject.
  • Amelia Franz says:
    If you're considering using the Library of Congress resources to teach, be sure to check out this blog. It's a great place to get ideas for how to incorporate primary sources, and also to keep up-to-date on new collections from the Library of Congress.
  • Amelia Franz says:
    This page links to (and provides addresses and phone numbers for) other museums and oral history projects that accept interviews and other historical material from U.S. veterans (National Museum of the Marine Corps, U.S. Army Military History Institute, and others).
  • Amelia Franz says:
    What an amazing opportunity for your students to become real historians and contribute to the Veterans History Project! Click on "How to Participate" for detailed instructions on how 10th - 12th grade students can contribute interviews and documents of living (or deceased, through Power of Attorney or cooperation of heirs) to the Veterans History Project.
  • Amelia Franz says:
    Click on your state on the U.S. map to see all primary sources available from that state. The Virginia page contains The Travels of Captain John Smith In Two Volumes: The Generall Historie of Virginia, New England, and the Summer Isles." As an aside, your students might be surprised to know that Smith and his fellow colonists believed that the Pacific Ocean (and the chance to trade with China) lay only a few days' travel beyond the Chesapeake Bay. Where's Google Earth when you need it?
  • Amelia Franz says:
    This helpful guide for history teachers includes sections on 1) Why Use Primary Sources, 2) Citing Primary Sources, 3) Copyright and Primary Sources, 4) Finding Primary Sources, and 5) Teacher's Guides and Analysis Tool. The tool helps students to "question, observe, and reflect" on primary sources.
  • Amelia Franz says:
    I love this alphabetical listing of primary source sets for student research! The "Abraham Lincoln: Rise to National Prominence" set contains letters, speeches, maps, and a teacher guide. Other sets include Civil War, Immigration, the Wright Brothers, Veterans' Stories, the New Deal, and many others.
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BloomBoard Asks:How have you used primary sources to increase your students' interest in, and understanding of, United States history?