Researching Primary Source Materials

Nov 4, 2008
Boston Public Library

BPL Teacher Orientation
November 4, 2008
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Johnson Building Lobby
You have been introduced to a variety of both primary sources and secondary sources during the summer institute and the historian content seminars. Perhaps you have made your final determination of the sources you will be using in your lesson. But most likely you are still seeking out those special documents or artifacts that will make your lesson come to life. Here is where the Boston Public Library comes into play.
The purpose of the BPL Teacher Orientation is to ensure that you become familiar with the American history holdings of the BPL so that you can identify the primary sources that you will need for inclusion into your American history lesson. If you have a digital camera you should bring it so that you may take photos of resources you may wish to include in your lesson.
The librarian liaison, Liz Tousignant, will have prepared lists of potential sources for you to investigate based upon your communication with her. This session provides an opportunity for you to review items on that primary source list, as well as to discover your own primary sources as you search the library. By December 18th, you will have identified the primary sources for your lesson and will have communicated your choices to the BPL through the librarian liaison.
Please download the agenda below.


History on the Net. Review the difference between primary and secondary sources.
The Learning Page. Suggestions for using primary sources were compiled from the National Digital Library's Educators' Forum held in July, 1995 and from the Library of Congress staff. Educators at the Forum, like many throughout the country, know that history comes alive for students who are plugged into primary sources. These suggestions for student activities can help you enhance your social studies curriculum using authentic artifacts, documents, photographs, and manuscripts from the Library of Congress Historical Collections and other sources.
Using Primary Sources on the Web. Written by the Instruction & Research Services Committee of the Reference and User Service Association History Section in the American Library Association. Committee members include Nancy Godleski, David Lincove (chair), Theresa Mudrock, Edward Oetting, Jennifer Schwartz, Joe Toth, Kendra Van Cleave, and Celestina Wroth.
A Listing of Primary Source Materials from The Board Of Cooperative Educational Services of Nassau County.

Submit list of potential primary source materials to Elizabeth Tousignant.