Primary source sets are online tools created by organizations like the Library of Congress, Digital Public Library of America, and the Minnesota Digital Library. They are devoted to a specific topic and include multiple types of digitized historical records (photographs, documents, artifacts, and more) and are meant to foster critical thinking. Usually they come with a topic overview, high-quality reproductions, teachers’ guides, and related resource lists.

Envelope for a letter from Phebe Persons to her son Arthur while he was at training camp, 1918.

In light of the centennial of the U.S. entry into World War I, you may not be surprised that each of those institutions listed above have a primary source set devoted to World War I.

Library of Congress

Digital Public Library of America

Minnesota Digital Library

Although these are specifically designed to help history and social studies teachers, I find them helpful for my own research, and inspiring too. It’s possible I may create a primary source set on Northfield’s experience during the war based on these examples. Would you find that a useful tool to help our audience better utilize the history we have shared on the Northfield History Collaborative?