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Teaching with Archival Materials

Information about using archival materials/primary sources in lesson plans and educational sessions.

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Overview of Resources and Repositories

This page gives a list of resources and repositories broken down by region. Educators can search through these repositories to find primary sources that they can include in their lesson plans. The following repositories also have lesson plans that are based around specific primary source sets:

  • DPLA Primary Source Sets -- DPLA (Digital Public Library of America) has created dozens of lesson plans with teaching guides and curated resources for use by educators in their classrooms. Educators can search by subject and time period.
  • Library of Congress Classroom Materials - Library of Congress also has dozens of lesson plans with curated resources for use by educators. Educators can search by topic, era, and recommended grade level.
  • DocsTeach by the National Archives - The National Archives has also provided activities using primary sources created by and for educators, divided by topic. 

Santa Clara University affiliates interested in looking at a list of curated primary sources by topic can view this google doc, which was created for SCU's Fall 2020 EDUC 289A students. Please note that you will need an SCU login to view the document; however, many of the repositories are included on this page as well.

SCU Archival Materials

California History Archival Materials

American History Archival Materials

World History Archival Materials