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Information Literacy Toolkit

Primary Source Literacy

Learning opportunities with primary sources

  • Experiential learning: real life situations and primary research engage students in reflective problem-solving with multiple avenues of inquiry
  • Conceptualize: how primary and secondary sources are interrelated; the iterative nature of research.
  • Find and access: the unique search processes required; acknowledging the gaps in historical records.
  • Read, understand and summarize: examining artifacts according to the language, script, syntax, format, etc.
  • Interpret, analyze and evaluate: critically evaluate and contextualize an artifact; interrogate silences, gaps and power relationships in the historical record.
  • Use and incorporate: synthesize sources appropriately; respect privacy, copyright and cultural contexts.

Adapted from Guidelines for Primary Source Literacy from the Society of American Archivists and Rare Books & Manuscripts Section of ACRL joint taskforce.

Last updated 7/21

Assignments and Activities

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