The Education Guide to DPLA

DPLA brings the wealth of U.S. libraries, archives, and museums to your classroom. If it’s your first time using our site, this guide will help you discover the many great resources DPLA offers educators and students.

Primary Source Sets

Working with our Education Advisory Committee, we’ve put together Primary Source Sets that explore topics in history, literature, and culture, such as the Great Migration and the War of 1812. In the Primary Source Sets, primary sources are supplemented by teaching guides that help students develop critical thinking skills. Explore ideas for using the Primary Source Sets in classrooms.

Primary Source Sets

What else?

In addition to Primary Source Sets, use our Online Exhibitions to investigate important stories about the United States through sources and accompanying narratives. For a broad look at highlights in our collection, browse by topic.

Build research skills in DPLA’s collection of millions of items from libraries, archives and museums, using the powerful search feature. From here, you can discover photographs, maps, speeches, and texts from all periods of American history. Create lists of items discovered in DPLA to come back to later without having to repeat your search.

If you are a K-12 educator in a Title I or low-income community, check out Open eBooks. Open eBooks inspires a love of reading by offering readers popular and award-winning eBooks for free, with no holds or late fees. DPLA is proud to support this ConnectED initiative.

Student working with tutor

Courtesy of Marquette University via Recollection Wisconsin.

Teaching and Learning with DPLA Resources

On October 26, 2023, the DPLA Outreach & Assessment Working Group and educator Joanna Schimizzi explored the Primary Source Sets from DPLA, including Feeding the Hungry with Food Stamp Programs.” In this session, we chatted about the structure of the existing Primary Source Sets and used framing questions to see what might be missing. Joanna provided an OER Commons template to curate additional resources and we provided feedback on what else could enrich these sets. (This OER Commons link is helpful for this session.)

Watch the recording here.

More information

Want to learn more? Read about DPLA’s work with professional educators on DPLA Pro. Email to get free classroom posters, informational postcards, and other giveaways, watch videos of past education workshops, become a Community Rep to help us reach new communities of educators and students, or follow us on social media.
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