The Primary Source Librarian

Dedicated to Excellence in Teaching with Primary Sources

Primary Sources as Alternatives to Print Requirements

| November 28, 2009

In his always thought-provoking, shake-up-the-status-quo way, Bud Hunt wrote a post last week suggesting that perhaps primary sources could replace print materials as a requirement in all research assignments. I agree with Bud that “print” sources have largely been replaced by online books, newspapers, magazines, etc., certainly in my own life if not in the […]

Primary Source Teaching the Web 2.0 Way, K-12

| November 16, 2009

I just realized that over the past couple of years, I’ve made a handful of veiled references to a book that I was writing, but I’ve never actually posted a photo of the cover or a description of the contents. Guess I’m not a tooter of my own horn. Then there’s the fact that when […]

An Invasion and a Journey – Via Twitter and Google Reader

| September 1, 2009

As a new user of Twitter, I have been working hard to build a Personal Learning Network (PLN) that will make Twitter worth my time. Early on, I decided to follow some primary source organizations on Twitter, including the Library of Congress and the National Archives. I’ve not been disappointed. Today’s Document from the National […]

Faked Photographs – Primary Sources or Not?

| August 30, 2009

Last Sunday’s (August 23) New York Times had a fun article by Bill Marsh called “Faked Photographs: Look, and Then Look Again.” The article made me wonder just how much editing makes a primary source photograph no longer a true primary source. Most of the photographs in the online slide show that accompanied the article […]

Local Communities Raise Funds to Digitize Newspapers (and a Mystery)

| August 1, 2009

Jim Duncan, Director of the Networking & Resource Sharing Unit of the Colorado State Library, has written a great article about the progress and plans of Colorado’s Historic Newspaper Collection. Like digitization projects everywhere, Colorado’s Historic Newspaper Collection (CHNC) is moving and changing with the times. Every such project has to look at the sustainability […]

New Year Ramblings

| January 7, 2009

As life calms down after the holidays, I feel the need to write a catch-all post before I get serious about primary source lessons. Please excuse my disconnected ramblings! I just finished a great little book that I’m recommending to all my friends and colleagues. The Cellist of Sarajevo, by Steven Galloway, is a fictionalized […]

Shmoop to the Rescue!

| December 11, 2008

I just discovered another strangely-named website that history and literature teachers may find amazingly helpful. It’s called “Shmoop.” Shmoop (still in beta) explains its purpose here: “Shmoop wants to help you become a better lover (of literature and history). See many sides to the argument. Find your writing groove. Understand how lit and history are […]

Centennial Minutes and More from PBS

| August 6, 2008

I’m a PBS junkie, so it stands to reason that I’ve been enjoying the special Rocky Mountain PBS series of “Centennial Minutes” produced to celebrate the Democratic National Convention that will take place in Denver this month. You, too, can watch all the 1-4 minute videos from the PBS Web site and learn all sorts […]

Who said that?

| July 28, 2008

One of the many tasks that accompany writing a book is that of writing for permission to quote people with better minds than mine. Fortunately, the responses I’ve received have been overwhelmingly supportive. One of them stands out from all the others for what it taught me. At the AASL National Conference at Reno last […]

An Experiment with VoiceThread and Primary Sources

| July 3, 2008

This week I had the opportunity to teach a workshop for the Teaching with Primary Sources – Colorado program to a most enjoyable group of educators in Colorado Springs. I had been trying to incorporate primary sources from the 1908 Democratic National Convention in Denver because of the upcoming July 31-Aug. 1 When History Happens […]