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Analysis of Primary Documents


photo                             

Image courtesy of the Georgia Archives.

     Primary sources are original records created at the time historical events occurred or well after events in the form of memoirs and oral histories. Primary sources may include letters, manuscripts, diaries, journals, newspapers, speeches, interviews, memoirs, documents produced by government agencies such as Congress or the Office of the President, photographs, audio recordings, moving pictures or video recordings, research data, and objects or artifacts such as works of art or ancient roads, buildings, tools, and weapons. These sources serve as the raw material to interpret the past, and when they are used along with previous interpretations by historians, they provide the resources necessary for historical research.

-From the American Library Association

Resources:

These worksheets are designed to help teachers and students evaluate primary sources.

Artifacts

Cartoons

Maps

Movies

Photos

Posters

Sound Recordings

Written Documents

Suggested Classroom Activities:

Introductory Activity

This activity was developed by the National Archives as an introduction to working with primary sources.