Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) Primary Source Sets

While DPLA Primary Source Sets are designed to help students develop critical thinking skills by exploring topics in history, literature, and culture via primary sources, I think they will prove useful for anyone beginning to explore a covered topic. Materials are drawn from the online exhibits of libraries, archives, and museums across the United States, and can include letters, photographs, posters, oral histories, video clips, sheet music, and more. Each set includes a topic overview, ten to fifteen primary sources, links to related resources, and a teaching guide with discussion questions and classroom activities.

I took a closer look at the U.S. History category. Numerous topics are included that may interest genealogists, among them:

Full Steam Ahead: the Steam Engine and Transportation in the 19th Century
The Great Migration (1910-1930)
The Homestead Acts
The Underground Railroad and the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850
The War of 1812
The Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1878
Women in the Civil War
World War I: America Heads to War
World War II: Women on the Homefront

Additional Primary Source Sets cover:

World History
African Americans
Asian Americans
Latino Americans
Native Americans

Information of this sort can prove very useful as we try to solve research roadblocks, or to flesh out dry-as-dust family histories. Take a look!

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