• Philadelphia

Primary Sources.
A teaching tool like no other.

The term “primary sources”refers to the original, raw materials of history created by authors, artists and observers of their age and preserved in the vast – and now digitized – archives of the Library of Congress.
This is the past unfiltered by historians of a later time and undisturbed by interpretations, opinions and analysis. What you see and read in the Library’s digital archives is the past, first hand. Original manuscripts, music compositions, scripts, photographs, artwork and accounts written by the actual eye witnesses to history and participants in the events that shaped our world.
The artifacts that shine in the Library of Congress form a mosaic of incredible instructional power. But it is raw power, and the teachers who want to use it well need thoughtful instruction on how to present it to their students. That is precisely what the educational courses at the University of the Arts do.

Who is this for?

Everyone! All educators – regardless of subject, grade or specialty – will be introduced to the breadth of primary  sources, their value in instruction and how quality arts content enriches student learning.

What you’ll learn

You’ll learn what, exactly, a primary resource is and why it has unique value. You’ll learn how to gain access to those primary sources and how to save them for your classroom use. Perhaps most important, you’ll learn how you can integrate these primary sources in your lesson plans and the best practices for using them as teaching tools.

How you’ll learn

We’ll help you bring the power of primary sources to your classroom by showing you how to create what are termed “inquiry-based learning experiences.” Primary sources are meant to stimulate students’ minds to ask questions and to question assumptions, to be a unique kind of learning experience.

And you’ll learn why it works so well

Primary sources are often very human and profoundly personal documents with the power to engender deep emotional reactions. They can, and often do, connect with the human experience in a way that second-hand retelling cannot.

Learning in and through the arts has the power to change lives

The arts teach us to think about qualitative relationships, celebrate multiple perspectives, develop aural and visual literacy skills, and consider complex forms of problem solving. The arts enable us to have experiences we can get from no other source; these experiences enrich us and our students.