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Welcome to Good History Stuff

Primary Sources Starter Pack for teachers: Home

Because every Subject has a History


STARTER PACK for teachers

Whether you're teaching science, art, engineering, literature or history, primary sources take you back to events and people; placing them within the context of their lives.
Primary sources are those things that remind us that discoveries don't pop up out of nowhere, conversations are bulit upon relationships, and people have all kinds of ideas, make all kinds of decisions, and take all kinds of actions; all based on their own life story.

Read the blog: Because every subject has a history...
ABOUT this site ( and just what ARE primary sources?) 


quick lesson starter: TODAY IN HISTORY from the Library of Congress



Imagine that you have access to the digitized collections from over 100+ University systems. What would that look like?  It would look like HathiTrust. Sure, it's scholarly. There are millions - millions! - of digitized books, pamphlets, papers, and primary sources from ancient times to today. Pick up something here to entice some great class conversations.  I searched for "sourdough bread" and discovered over 5,000 entries - including many diaries of gold hunting in the Klondike as well as agricultural reports.
Imagine searching for your favorite subject!


Known as the "google" for government searching - keep this site handy for finding just about anything. SCIENCE, AGRICULTURE, and other non-history folks - this is for you too...

MUSEUMS - don't forget MUSEUMS!

Mary D'Eliso curated some great links to museum lessons - take a look! 

Topics such as: 

Japanese internment during WWII
Smithsonian American History Museum
The Getty / The National Gallery / National Gallery of London / 
Science / Technology


ONLINE archives

Use the INTERNET ARCHIVE WAYBACK MACHINE to find historical web pages.

The wayback machne is a part of the INTERNET ARCHIVE   


What happens to the White House website info after a President leaves office? You can see their sites from the past: Check here:



Check out: electric sheep -  military manual collection - NASA images - classic TV - Comic books and so. much. more.

Use their primary source collections (Stonewall, Mormon Migration, Sherman Alexie, World War I and more). Check out EXHIBITS to get access to more primary sources put together by theme or topic.






The stuff in here is made from the work of many governmental agencies. Check here for copyright, Congressional business, and documents, artifacts, and more that document the history of our country.

BROWSE these guides - they cover many topics!

Check our their blog posts - you'll find such interesting topics.



"America's Record-Keeper" works under the jurisdiction of the Executive Branch which encompasses many agencies. Here is where you can gain access to government records across all those agencies. Be sure to check out the information at each Presidential Library.

Check out their blogs
Follow @ourpresidents  on twitter
(excellent for quick drop-ins on history!)


"America's Attic" is made up of a myriad of libraries, museums and a zoo. Think "serendipity" when using these sites - you will encounter many - many! - things that will drop you right into the most wonderful rabbit-hole of research.  



State by State copyright info:
Copyright at Harvard Library

U.S. Copyright Office:


Helping students understand "FAIR USE"?  Look here
Famous cases help untagle the info



 This is not a definitive source for primary sources- it's a 'starter pack' to jump-start your exploration into primary sources.

All these sites are filled to the brim with resources useable with any subject - think out of the box and you have combos like marine biology and the moon landing, women's rights and wartime gardens, bearded presidents and blogs.  Up your game with your students and share the wealth of fun, information, and stories that make up our history.

  Please feel free to contact me with ideas for sources to include, and any other ideas you might have to make it useful and interesting. Thank you.

 Much of this comes from my work researching and writing:
Understanding Government Information: a Teaching Strategy Toolkit for grades 7-12Libraries Unlimited, 2017.