Tools for Understanding Primary Source Media

In this round of updating, we have larger media, more of it, and better tools to work with it. In the 2016 round of updates, watch for a bigger website, with easier navigation, and even more new features!

Throughout this site, there are a number of tools that will help you gain more meaning from the original documents that make up the historical record. We offer two tools for better looks at visually compelling historical images.

    Select any image on the story pages to see a much larger, full version, often with more information.

Lightbox sample

    Select the magnifying glass icon to see more detail in an original image.

Magnifying glass sample

Besides photographs and drawings, we have additional media to help enhance understanding.

    This site is peppered with letters from people who lived through the historical events, newspaper accounts from the time, and legal government documents.

letter from Dr. Picotte sample
Excerpt from a letter from Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, April 29, 1914.

In the upper left corner of every story page is the SEARCH function. If you type and don't select which type of search, you will get a prompt:

search function

Select OK and then . . .
  • Select STORIES to search within our site for media and content.
search stories

  • Select PRIMARY SOURCE to open a new tab for the UNL Libraries database for Nebraska Studies. It has over 7000 original images and documents as well as videos about Nebraska’s history.
search primary sources

    We have videos, interactive maps, and animations to help illustrate concepts. Select the double arrows in the lower right corner of a video to bring it full screen. Select each button in an interaction to see how a concept progresses.

video and interaction samples

Use this printable Resources document that includes:

  • Artifact Analysis Worksheet
  • Map Analysis Worksheet
  • Photographic Analysis Worksheet
  • Written Document Analysis Worksheet
  • Venn Diagram

Library of Congress Library of Congress Learning Page. The Library of Congress has also produced resources for teachers, and you can access it here. This site draws on their superb on-line collection known as "The American Memory Collection."

Nebraska Department of Education Academic Standards. Like many other states, the Nebraska Department of Education has adopted a set of educational standards. These standards are intended to reflect what students should know and be able to do by the end of various grades. In addition to identifying grade-level specific standards, the content standards are further divided into six topic strands. The Nebraska Standards document is not a curriculum guide, defining what is taught at each grade level or prescribing how content should be taught. Standards are to guide local school districts and communities as they work together to set high expectations for ALL students and plan instruction that enables students to meet those expectations. ALL students must be equipped with the skills and knowledge that will permit them to enter an ever-changing job market.

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