Primary source analysis is becoming the cornerstone of social studies instruction in the 21st-century classroom. It’s undeniable how “Primary sources provide a window into the past—unfiltered access to the record of artistic, social, scientific and political thought and achievement during the specific period under study, produced by people who lived during that period.” These array of sources can act as a catalyst for creativity and help students contextualize a time period. Yet, it’s not always possible to bring young scholars into close contact with these inimitable, often profoundly personal, documents and objects. But the Historical Society of Pennsylvania can help!
HSP has over 21 million items in our collection, over 115,000 of those are digitized and available in our Digital Library. The use of technology to facilitate the learning of content in the classroom has grown exponentially these past few decades. HSP invites you to explore the origins and diversity of Pennsylvania and the United States, from the colonial period and the nation's founding to the experience of contemporary life – all within our Digital Library.
I’m excited to announce many new updates to make our resources more accessible to you and your students! One key feature is the ability to save personal collections of images. Perhaps, you would like a collection of images related to the Founding of Pennsylvania, the Revolutionary War, the Civil Rights Movement, or Women’s Rights. It’s all possible now! You can even export search results and collection contents in various formats, including PDF, Excel, and PowerPoint. If you’re looking for a primary source to integrate into your lesson plan, you can browse records by a person, term, century, decade, year, or collection. Our new website is mobile-ready, and many new records not previously available have been uploaded!