Wednesday, January 25, 2012

National History Day

Lately we've had a lot of fun working with students on National History Day projects.  This year the theme is "Revolution, Reaction, Reform in History".  The program emphasizes using both primary and secondary resources.  The Society of American Archivists (SAA) has created a toolkit on using archives to locate primary sources.  The toolkit offers the following definition,  "Primary sources are unique materials that are created at the time of a historical event that can serve as proof of historical facts. Primary sources are unfiltered materials; the information is not interpreted by someone who was not a witness to the event. Primary sources provide a window into the past. How do we know about events that have passed? Through the primary sources that participants left behind."  The toolkit also contains tips on research, links to online primary sources and other information. 

In addition to archives, government information often contains a rich array of primary sources.  Here are some of the projects students have worked on and the tools we have suggested:
Children waiting to fill pails with soup, 1940.  American Memory
This is just the tip of the iceberg.  Check out our page on Historic and Archival Documents.  Many of the resources are freely available, but some are only available on campus. 


  1. Are there any archival resources that can be used for Boulder history?

    1. Depends on what you are looking for. We do have some Boulder history resources here at CU, but the best are at the Boulder Carnegie Library, which focuses on local history. Check out their web page here:

  2. Excellent article ... excellent image ... excellent blog.