Primary Sources

Teachers, need a primary source to create a lesson in the classroom? 

Students, need a source for research project? 

You can find the primary sources that used in the unit plans here where they are searchable by keyword, title, and topic.  

Besides an image of the source, on its page, you may also find ways to purchase copies for the classroom, a transcription, and its proper citation for inclusion in a bibliography.

Our digitized collection, however, is much bigger than this selection.  Be sure to search the Collection section of our website too.

And if you  need help reading old handwriting, there are many sources on line, such as this one from

Browse Sources

This map of Fort Duquesne (year unknown) contains a key which helps explain daily life at the fort and shows where important events took place.  

This is a plan fort No. 37, Fort Dusquesne, which the French established along the Alleghany river in 1754. 

This Report of a Sanitary Survey of the Schuylkill Valley was written by Dana C. Barber for the Philadelphia Water Department in 1884. It details the pollution to the water supply for six districts along the Schuylkill River. The last page also includes a summary chart of its findings. 

To see the entire report, click on the "View or Buy" button.

This speech was delivered by William Ludlow on March 30, 1885. The ten page speech contains his argument for a more sanitary public water supply in and around Philadelphia.

To see the whole report, click on the "View or Buy" button.

This is a four page report to the members of the Pythian Base Ball Club recounting the events of the Philadelphia Convention on October 16, 1867. The report is dated December 18, 1867. It is part of the Leon Gardiner Collection of American Negro Historical Society records.

This letter, dated March 1, 1869, is from the Leon Gardiner collection for American Negro Historical Society records. It is a correspondence between Jacob C. White and William Still regarding the Pythian Baseball Club.

This letter is part of the Leon Gardiner Collection of American Negro Historical records. It is from William Still to the Pythian Base Ball Club and is dated January 30, 1869.

An 1881 pamphlet from the Civil-Service Reform Association of Philadelphia titled, “Purposes of the Civil-Service Reform League.”

Edward Sayres Collection.

A 1937 Pennsylvania Civil Service Association pamphlet. "Pennsylvania's Opportunity,"  part of the PA Civil Service Reform League Collection.

This letter is part of the Edward Sayres Collection and is dated 14 April 1881. Written by Wayne MacVeagh to Edward Sayres.

An open letter dated Apr. 8, 1890 to President Benjamin Harrison by Henry Charles Lea.

Article from the Philadelphia Record, 2 January 1931.

"400 Bankers Trust Employees Dropped"