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 ancestry.com.

Browse Sources

Photograph of a woman using an electric welder. Image from the Philadelphia War Photograph Committee collection documenting World War I participation on the Philadelphia home front.

A photograph of girls from the National Service and Emergency Aid division inspecting "comfort kits" at 1210 Arch Street. Comfort kits contained personal hygiene items such as games, soxs, buttons, soap, etc., and given to soldiers on the front line.

Photograph of the Auxiliary 123 at the Philadelphia High School for Girls at 7th and Spring Garden Streets. The photo is from the American National Red Cross from the Philadelphia War Photograph Committee collection documenting World War I participation on the Philadelphia home front.

Pamphlet issued in 1863 by the Union Volunteer Refreshment Saloon. Includes list of U.S. Army hospitals in Philadelphia and places of interest in the city.

View of the main corridor of the U.S. Great Central Sanitary Fair.

View of Philadelphia Volunteer Refreshment Saloons. Lithograph by J. Queen, printed in colors by T. Sinclair and published by Job T. Williams, circa 1867.

Capt. William Willcox's Map of the Battle of Gettysburg, created in 1863.

Theodore Ditterline Map of the Battle of Gettysburg, created in 1863.

The receipt reads:

Sept....3  Received the Sum of Sixteen Shilings &8 for Forty Brooms @ 5 p. Piece. 
rec. by me
his mark
Andreas the Indian   

This ledger lists pelts, or animal skins, traded by Indians at Fort Pitt in 1764. The list of animals listed across the top of the ledger is representative of the types of peltry exchanged during this period. Note the large number of beaver and raccoon. In general, such pelts were traded in exchange for finished goods, such as tools and clothing.

A page from a calendar printed in America in 1757 by Christopher Saur for the German-speaking populace.  Used as the frontispiece of a book., 1770.

This print depicts political cartoon against Quaker Government; King Wampum is Israel Pemberton