Interested in having your students work directly with primary sources? Then consider hosting a field trip to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania! Given our depth of documents,we offer a wide range of programs on-site for grades 4-12. When visiting HSP, students will get to see a wide variety of resources on a particular topic and the cost is FREE. Previous programs for students have focused on Yellow Fever, Civil War, Abolition, Immigration, and Political Cartoons.
By working directly with primary sources students receive the opportunity to handle documents that they are unable to experience in a text book. One example is the diary of Emilie Davis, a free African American girl living in Philadelphia during the Civil War. Her diaries are very small in size and allow students to see how she interpreted events, such as the Battle of Gettysburg and Lincoln’s death. Another source is the Benjamin Rush’s Letterbook that contains the letters from his Yellow Fever patients. The details are gruesome, and when the students visit, they get the opportunity to see and read the actual letters, as well as learn more about 18th century medical practices.
Textbooks work to explain facts and figures, yet they do not allow students to see the humor and sarcasm of everyday people living through the events they are studying. Primary sources convey the culture and opinion of everyday people and lets students consider their own life experiences in comparison. If you are interested in visiting, please contact us and remember the cost is FREE.