Opening America’s Archives: Using Primary Sources in the Classroom

This month, Georgia Historical Society’s Education Coordinator Sophia Sineath presented two one-day workshops hosted by the Okefenokee RESA and Middle Georgia RESA. Both hosting institutions are part of Georgia’s Regional Educational Service Agency (RESA) which is comprised of 16 regional educational service agencies strategically located in service districts throughout the State of Georgia. The agencies were established for the purpose of sharing services designed to improve the effectiveness of the educational programs of member school systems.

Workshop participants explored the value of using primary sources across disciplines and had hands-on experiences with the library and archival collections of the Georgia Historical Society, Library of Congress, and other repositories across Georgia and the country. Participants also learned tips, tools, and techniques for engaging students in exploration and study of primary sources in the classroom with a focus on historical inquiry.

Topics covered included:

  • What are primary sources and why should I use them in the classroom?
  • Where can I find primary sources?
  • What are the best practices for searching online databases for primary sources?
  • How do I design lessons and activities with primary sources?

You can download materials from the workshops by visiting