The Primary Source Librarian

Dedicated to Excellence in Teaching with Primary Sources

Three Blogs about Primary Sources

I want to pass on three blogs that I regularly read for their teaching ideas and valuable links to primary sources.

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This is a relatively new blog written by Library of Congress Educational Resource Specialists and other expert contributors. The posts appear every few days, and they are all of the absolute highest quality. They’re filled with links to primary sources. Many of them connect to events or holidays, and because they are so timely, they can rescue a teacher with a “just-in-time” lesson idea. For example, just for the month of November, you can find ideas for Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, and Native American Heritage Month. Over time, you can also pick up ideas for getting started with primary sources, find primary source analysis tools, and discover hidden treasures that simply enrich your understanding of the Library of Congress collections.

Shaun Usher edits this fun and informative blog, and I look forward to reading a historical letter every weekday on this site. Shaun writes in his description of the blog: “Letters of Note is an attempt to gather and sort fascinating letters, postcards, telegrams, faxes, and memos. Scans/photos where possible. Fakes will be sneered at.” In the past month I’ve read a letter from an American soldier daddy on Adolf Hitler’s personal stationery, an early informal resume from Madonna, a letter from Jimi Hendrix to his father, a leaked Jeffrey Katzenberg letter trying to refocus the Walt Disney company, an Albert Einstein letter to the father of a boy who has just died of polio, and many more. The variety of topics and famous people make for fascinating learning. You can follow Shaun on Twitter @lettersofnote.

Like me, author Mary Alice Anderson is a former American Memory Fellow, and she is also an enthusiastic proponent of teaching with primary sources. In fact, she teaches a course called “Teaching with Primary Sources” at the University of Wisconsin – Stout. She has long been a leader in the school library world, and I’ve followed her writing for the past twenty years. Her blog offers an interesting mix of field trips, primary source teaching ideas, and school library issues.

If you enjoy reading other blogs about primary sources in teaching, I hope you’ll pass them on through the comments. Thanks!


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