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Freedom's Lawmakers: Black Leadership During Reconstruction

Resources to support participants in this summer institute for K-12 educators

Open Textbooks in American History

These textbooks are offered freely and openly for anyone to read and use online. Chapters include additional reading lists and, in the case of The American Yawp, primary source lists.

Finding Background Information

Use these sources to gain familiarity with your topic, narrow your research question, provide context, and identify experts.

Primary and Secondary Sources in History

Primary sources = Evidence

  • Created during the time period or event you are studying, or produced by a participant (even if after the fact)
  • Primary sources are defined by how they are used (i.e. as evidence for interpretation of the past) rather than by what they are (i.e. format or type of material)

Secondary sources = Analysis and interpretation

  • Written by historians, scholars, and other researchers
  • Secondary sources are based on the analysis and interpretation of primary evidence and other sources