The Primary Source Librarian

Dedicated to Excellence in Teaching with Primary Sources

Lucien Jacques, French Soldier and Pacifist

| May 22, 2014

Three years ago I wrote two blog posts (Part I and Part II) about my “Personal Memorial Day Journey” to follow the route taken by my Great Uncle Tony Bastian before he was killed in France in August of 1918. Now I am back in France, but in Provence this time rather than the killing […]

Thoughts of a Wannabe Historian

| January 18, 2014

I may have missed my calling. Only since I discovered the power of primary sources have I yearned for a new career as a historian. Reading history textbooks aloud in high school classes put me to sleep. I could never understand how my mother could read one biography after another from American history. I did […]

What’s Wrong with Primary Sources?

| November 18, 2012

Last week at the request of one of my colleagues at the Library of Congress, I compiled a list of organizations and individuals who regularly tweet about primary sources. Just in case I had missed any, I searched Twitter for the keywords¬†primary sources. Since I follow teachers and education organizations almost exclusively, I was surprised […]

Evaluating Eyewitness Reports

| August 21, 2010

When I give workshops on teaching with primary sources, I always ask participants to define the term primary source and to give examples. Participants always offer “eyewitness reports” as an example. It stands to reason, then, that the ability to analyze eyewitness reports for point of view, accuracy, and context is an essential primary source […]