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Primary Sources from State Archives Designed for Use in the Classroom

See also: Directory of teaching resources
available from other repositories
Updated March 15, 2010
 

ALABAMA

See also:
History Day

Collections Online

The Alabama Department of Archives and History designed this project to help teachers more easily integrate the use of primary source materials into their classrooms, consists of teaching units on Alabama history organized in ten chronological/subject areas: Creek War, 1813-1814; Settlement; Slavery; Civil War; Reconstruction; 1901 Constitution; World War I; Depression/New Deal; World War II; Civil Rights. http://www.archives.state.al.us/teacher/psources.html


ALASKA

See also:
Collections Online

Alaska Gold Rush was developed by the Alaska Rich Mining Project Committee to make archival, library, and museum materials more accessible to users throughout the state and to assist teachers in using primary source materials in classrooms.
See http://www.library.state.ak.us/goldrush/


CALIFORNIA

 

LearnCalifornia.org is an electronic resource for students, teachers, and others using the resources of the California State Archives. See http://www.learncalifornia.org/


COLORADO

See also:
Collections Online

The Colorado State Archives published "Go To The Source, Discovering 20th Century U.S. History Through Colorado Documents" was in 2001.

The "Kids and Students" page on the State Archives website "was developed with the elementary student in mind by responding to the most frequently asked questions (FAQ's) ... received [by the State Archives]. Many of the sites are official State of Colorado websites and some are not." See http://www.colorado.gov/colorado-government-services-for/kids-students.html


CONNECTICUT

Connecticut History Online (CHO) is a digital collection of over 15,000 digital primary sources, together with associated interpretive and educational material. Now in its tenth year, CHO is embarking on a collaboration with the Encyclopedia of Connecticut History Online (ECHO) to serve the needs of scholars, K-12 and post-secondary teachers and students, genealogists, and the general public. This new initiative builds upon a very successful collaboration of libraries and museums carried out in two IMLS National Leadership grant-funded phases (1999-2007) that focused on digital capture of historical artifacts, including photographs, maps, broadsides, oral histories, manuscripts and oral histories. These document events, people, and places that are part of the fabric of Connecticut and American social, business, political, educational, cultural, and civic life.

http://www.cthistoryonline.org


DELAWARE

See also:
Collections Online

The Delaware Public Archives has a Digital Archives providing access to more than images of more than 3,000 separate items in the collections.
http://archives.delaware.gov/exhibits/exhibits-toc.shtml


FLORIDA

See also:
Collections Online

The Florida State Archives "Florida Memory Project," a web site that provides educational resources for teachers and students online. This site uses archival documents that support curriculum requirements and guidelines outlined in the Sunshine State Standards (standards set by the Florida Department of Education that identify what students should know and be able to do after they complete specific grades).  http://fpc.dos.state.fl.us/memory/

The Online Classroom is designed to help educators use photographs and documents from the Florida State Archives. Lesson plans are correlated to the Sunshine State Standards.The Online Classroom also showcases collaborative projects between the Florida State Archives and Florida schools. These projects help students make a personal connection to the primary source documents that tell the stories of their communities. http://www.floridamemory.com/OnlineClassroom/

The Florida State Archives is embarking upon a two-year project to enhance access to and provide educational tools based upon the Florida Folklife Collection. http://www.floridamemory.com/folklife.cfm


GEORGIA

See also:
Collections Online

In order to promote the use of primary documents in education, The Georgia Archives provides significant resources for both students and teachers. Reproductions of original documents, research guides, on-line exhibits, and information such as fast facts about Georgia are available via the web at http://www.GeorgiaArchives.org.

For those able to visit our facility, we offer building tours, exhibits, and workshops for students and teachers. Traveling workshops and presentations are also available on a limited basis.

Direct link to educator information: http://www.georgiaarchives.org/
how_may_we_help_you/educator/default.htm

The Capitol Education Center, another division of the Secretary of State, currently has resources available for teachers on their site at http://www.sos.state.ga.us/tours/html/teacher.html.


IDAHO

See also:
History Day

The Idaho State Historical Society provides teacher resources at http://www.idahohistory.net/education.html

 


ILLINOIS

 

The Illinois State Archives website includes links to an online documentary teaching package on the Illinois and Michigan Canal and descriptions of several other packages available in hard copy. See http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/
archives/docpacks.html


INDIANA


The Indiana Commission on Public Records' Digital Classroom, includes History Day resources
http://www.in.gov/icpr/archives/featured/classroom/


KANSAS

See also:
History Day
Collections Online

Many teacher resources are available from the Kansas State Historical Society: workshops, an electronic newsletter, classroom activities, and other supplemental materials. Featured in 2004 are those supporting study of the Lewis and Clark Expedition during its bicentennial anniversary celebration. See http://www.kshs.org/teachers/news/index.htm.

Digitized Kansas Territory materials are available at http://www.territorialkansasonline.org/cgiwrap/imlskto/index.php.  


LOUISIANA

See also:
Collections Online

The Louisiana State Archives occasionally provides school groups and teachers with copies of original records. Future plans include expansion of its website to include an inventory of resources and educational aids.


MAINE

See also:
History Day
Collections Online

The Maine State Archives coordinates Maine National History Day, stressing the value of primary sources.  Its History Day Web site (http://www.maine.gov/sos/arc/historyday/histhome.htm) includes links to local repositories with  primary sources of potential value to students. 

A special project to demonstrate the value of Maine State Archives' records in documenting Maine towns is accessible at http://www.maine.gov/sos/arc/edu/turner/intro.htm.

The Maine State Archives has participated in workshops for history teachers sponsored by the University of Maine, in which staff reminds participants of the value of, and opportunity for, using archival material in the classroom.


MARYLAND

See also:
Collections Online

The Maryland State Archives developed the Archives of Maryland series Documents for the Classroom series to make "facsimiles of original documents available for use by teachers and students in elementary and secondary schools, as well as colleges and universities." See http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/educ/html/sc2221.html

"Teaching in the Age of the Internet" provides guidance for "teaching people at all levels of education and interest how to use the technology of the information highway." http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/stagser/
s1259/121/7295/html/0000.html


MASSACHUSETTS

See also:
History Day

The Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth provides a "Kid's Zone" page with state symbols, a history quiz, and other activities at http://www.sec.state.ma.us/cis/ciskid/kididx.htm.


MICHIGAN

See also:
History Day

Seeking Michigan
"The Library of Michigan and Archives of Michigan began work on this site in 2008.  At that time, staff recognized the benefit of collaborating to bring the public a wide array of cultural heritage materials." http://seekingmichigan.org/teach

The Michigan Department of History, Arts, and Libraries provides "historical documents, activities and lesson ideas [that] relate to the galleries at the Michigan Historical Museum and online. Topics include Settling a State; Civil War; Mining in Michigan; Lumbering in Michigan; Farm and Factory, 1860-1900 (Rural Michigan, Growth of Manufacturing); Farm and Factory, 1900-1930 (Agriculture, Auto Pioneers); The Great Depression; The Fifties; The Sixties; Special Exhibits (On the Air! Michigan Radio and Television Broadcasting, 1920-2000). See http://www.michigan.gov/hal/0,1607,7-160-17451_
18670_18793---,00.html


MINNESOTA

See also:
History Day
Collections Online

The Minnesota Historical Society offers an "educators' portal" to guide teachers to a wide range of materials and resources by grade level, format, and topic. See http://discovery.mnhs.org/edportal/

Specific sections also exist for Teacher Education, http://www.mnhs.org/school/teacher/index.htm; Online Resources, http://www.mnhs.org/school/online/index.html; Classroom Publications, http://www.mnhs.org/school/classroom/index.html; and more.


MISSOURI

See also:
Collections Online

"Teaching with Documents" is a curriculum package available to all educators with particular emphasis on secondary students.  The material is built around forty primary sources held in collections at the Missouri State Archives.  This teaching tool is available on the web at
http://www.sos.mo.gov/archives/education/teaching/modocs.asp

Archives staff visit fourth grade classrooms to introduce students to the concept of an archives, familiarize students with the holdings of the Missouri State Archives, and initiate discussion of family history research at the appropriate student level.  Students later visit the Archives for an in-depth tour of facilities, use of microfilm, lab experiments with conservators, and lessons in how to approach original documents to gain the greatest amount of information. The Missouri State Archives is the official sponsor of History Day in Missouri, Region IV.  Participating students are encouraged to utilize primary sources in their research, writing, and presentations.  The Friends of the Missouri State Archives present $100 award to the student who best uses the Archives' collections for this competition. 


MONTANA

See also:
Collections Online

The Montana Historical Society Archives website features teaching with primary sources at http://www.his.state.mt.us/education/outreachresources.asp. Online curriculum resources are available at http://www.his.state.mt.us/education/curriculum.asp. A student guide to the history of Montana is available at http://www.his.state.mt.us/education/studentguide/default.asp


NEBRASKA

See also:
History Day
Collections Online

Current resources available on the Nebraska State Historical Society website include teaching materials, including illustrated leaflets covering topics of Nebraska history at a middle-grade reading level, teacher's guides, pre- and post-visit activity packs, Nebraska data on CD-ROM, historic film clips on video, traveling trunk, coloring books. See http://www.nebraskahistory.org/museum/teachers/
material/index.htm


NEVADA

See also:
Collections Online

The Nevada Department of Cultural Affairs provides teacher resources at http://dca.nevadaculture.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=646&Itemid=27. A general "kid's page" is available at http://dca.nevadaculture.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=632&Itemid=399.

The Department of Museums, Library and Arts produced a Nevada History CD-ROM which includes historical photographs, documents, maps, speeches, oral histories, video clips, diary excerpts, etc.


NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

The New Hampshire Historical Society has published packages of materials to be given out to teachers on the teaching of New Hampshire history, including much from the State Archives on primary source materials use. http://www.nhhistory.org/edu_dept.html

NEW JERSEY

See also:
Collections Online

The New Jersey State Archives has a section for "Documentary Treasures" as well as digital images of a range of other items from its collections.


NEW YORK

See also:
Collections Online

The New York State Archives offers online document-based exhibits and resources for students and teachers at http://www.archives.nysed.gov/education.

Of particular note are award-winning "Throughout the Ages" and "La Escuela Electronica," a bilingual document resource. Accompanying lessions were developed by New York State teachers and can be customized online to fit all classrooms and all learners. In addition, the Archives has two publications for teachers about using historical records in the classroom: the award-winning "Consider the Source: Historical Records in the Classroom" and "Erie Canal: New York's Gift to the Nation: a Document-Based Teacher Resource."

The Archives also holds an annual Student Research Award contest to encourage students in grades 4-12 to explore the wealth of historical records found in archives, libraries, and other historical community organizations throughout New York State.


NORTH CAROLINA

See also:
History Day
Collections Online

The North Carolina Division of Archives and History has a range of educational resources available at http://www.ah.dcr.state.nc.us/edu-outrch/default.htm
and a "kids" page at http://www.ncdcr.gov/kids.asp


NORTH DAKOTA

 

The State Historical Society of North Dakota has an education department within the Museum and Education division. The most popular items are the Suitcase Exhibits for North Dakota (SEND) trunks, which are subject-based and contain both documents (especially photographs) and artifacts. They have teacher guides included. Online educational resources are available at http://history.nd.gov/educators.html


OHIO

See also:
History Day
Collections Online

The Ohio Historical Society provides resources for teaching Ohio history at http://www.ohiohistoryteachers.org/. A searchable Database of Primary Resources for Teachers which allows users to search by Title, Subject, Curriculum Category, and Appropriate Grade (k-12), is a collaborative effort of the OHS's Archives/Library and Educational Services Divisions. http://www.ohiohistory.org/resource/database/teachers.html


PENNSYLVANIA

See also:
Collections Online

ARIAS (Archives Records Information Access System). This resource offers images from digitized microfilm that index and summarize the military service of Pennsylvania soldiers.
http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=512&objID=2887&&PageID=
383882&level=2&parentCommID=2887&menuLevel=Level_2&mode=2

Our Documentary Heritage includes images of historical documents, narratives placing them in a regional, state or national context, and, where appropriate, transcriptions of each record as well as helpful links for further research.
http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/our_documentary_heritage/8642


SOUTH CAROLINA

See also:
History Day
Collections Online

South Carolina Department of Archives and History is the home for the "Teaching American History in South Carolina" program which coordinates yearly Summer Institutes that provide a range of professional development opportunities for South Carolina teachers. http://www.teachingushistory.org/ The state archives also provides extensive History Day resources.


SOUTH DAKOTA

See also:
Collections Online

South Dakota State Archives The South Dakota Historical Society provides educational resources at http://www.sdhistory.org/arc/teacher/arc_clas.htm.


TEXAS

See also:
Collections Online

The "Tides in Early Texas History" collaborative digital project creates a platform in which cultural heritage institutions and educators can work together to enrich learning experiences for students, bridge gaps between disciplines, and increase access to unique cultural collections. The gathering of all forms of cultural history around a topic offers a more complete story of the past than any one piece could do alone. The result is a unique tool for educators to teach early Texas history and information literacy. The Texas Tides project addresses the needs of educators, researchers, and students for readily accessible primary and secondary cultural resource materials. The Tides web site documents early Texas history (prehistory until A.D. 1900) with an east Texas slant. In addition, The Texas Tides project meets the needs of Texas history teachers for curriculum material that will not only meet the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) guidelines, but also help prepare their students for the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills Test (TAKS). http://tides.sfasu.edu/home.html

The Portal to Texas History offers students and lifelong learners a digital gateway to the rich collections held in Texas libraries, museums, archives, historical societies, and private collections. The Portal team at the University of North Texas Libraries provides strong leadership by supporting collaborative efforts with its partners, while pursuing the goals of accessibility, best practices, and preservation of historical material. Designed to appeal to historians, students, and lifelong learners, the Portal emphasizes access to primary sources. It features digital reproductions of photographs, maps, letters, documents, books, artifacts, and more. Portal curriculum Primary Source Adventures that comply with TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) standards highlight relevant materials for classroom teachers.
See http://texashistory.unt.edu/


VERMONT

See also:
Collections Online

As part of its on going effort to demonstrate to legislators that archival records are a resource for their deliberations the Vermont State Archives has posted both general historical government information:
http://vermont-archives.org/ and then specific archives-based information on issues being debated by the general assembly and public: http://vermont-archives.org/publications/voice/index.htm.

VIRGINIA

See also:
Collections Online

The Publications and Educational Services division of the Library of Virginia is dedicated to helping bring Virginia’s history alive using the millions primary source documents and images in our collections. These include teaching resources, lesson plans, online exhibitions, research guides, an elementary-level educator’s guide, “Virginia’s History and Culture of the Commonwealth,” and tours of the library.  Educational resources provided by the Library of Virginia enables teachers to help students interpret and analyze the people, places and events of the state’s past. For more information contact the Library of Virginia at 804-692-3500 or go to the website at http://www.lva.lib.va.us/whatwedo/k12/index.htm.


WASHINGTON

See also:
Collections Online

A variety of resources for the study of Washington state history is available from the Washington State Archives and Washington State Library at http://www.secstate.wa.gov/history/


WEST VIRGINIA

See also:
Collections Online

The West Virginia State Archives has a Memory Project with digital images of documents from its collections.
http://www.wvculture.org/hiStory/wvmemory/index.html


WISCONSIN

See also:
History Day
Collections Online

A range of publications and other resources are available from the from the Wisconsin Historical Society's Office of School Services at http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/teachers/