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Items marked with a * indicate that the resource pertains to South Dakota.

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Using Primary Sources

South Dakota State University Briggs Library LibGuide

This guide is intended to help students find primary resources. More and more primary resources are being digitized and made available to researchers on the web but it can be quite difficult to find them. This guide will provide links to collections and will be updated on a regular basis and with new theme topics relating to state and local history each year.

Fordham University Online Full Text Resources

Fordham University offers numerous full text online documents that have been translated into English for primary source use. Many of the sources are geared towards grades 9-12 research projects. Use of these sources would provide a great resource to any project or paper.

Digital Public Library of America Primary Source Sets

The Digital Public Library of America has provided primary source sets to aid students in the development of critical thinking skills by exploring topics in history, literature, and culture through primary sources. The site uses numerous primary sources ranging from different typed and fields of study. Each set includes a topic overview, ten to fifteen primary sources, links to related resources, and a teaching guide.

Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenburg is a great research aid that provides over 53,000 free online books. The website is a great tool for locating primary sources. The sites search engine is selective and can only use one-word topics. Note: Project Gutenberg is not accessible via clicking the link. To access the site you must copy and paste the below link into the web browser of your choice. Once you have entered the link, then select the search option labeled as, “ Free ebooks by Project Gutenberg – Gutenberg,” to access the site.

Library of Congress Primary Source Sets

The Library of Congress Primary Source Sets Provides students and teachers with primary source videos, pictures and personal stories from each era in US History. This is a great resource for research papers, presentations, and classroom activities. With each set of sources is a section on each state. Be sure to check out the sources attributed to South Dakota!

Library of Congress Primary Sources

Provides a basic background on how to engage students, develop critical thinking skills, and basic knowledge for research projects and papers. Helps engage students on how to question research and look for real answers.

Do History

This website uses a series of questions to teach students how to think about, analyze, and identify primary sources. Questions are centered on where the source comes from, who wrote it, and why. Great beginning questions can be found on the website that lead to bigger questions. This site is a useful starter activity for students who are looking to understand how to identify and use primary sources.

Library of Congress Chicago Style Citation Guide

The citation guide teaches users how to correctly cite using Chicago Style Citation. Examples of how to do Chicago are included with each example of how to use it properly for Newspapers or Government publications.

Princeton Library

Great source to not only find examples of Works Cited/ Bibliography but also for endnotes. Gives examples of places to find unpublished/ published documents.

Purdue OWL

Purdue Owl is a great way to create citations, endnotes or footnotes. Purdue Owl gives an introduction to the sources and explains common elements found in a bibliography and footnote. On the side bar, examples of different sources and resources for writing in Chicago can be found and utilized by students or teachers needing to relearn Chicago style. Purdue Owl is one of the most used sources among historians to cite evidence in their papers and presentations.


Not Another History Teacher

Not Another History Teacher offers effective tools to incorporate project based learning into your classroom. The site offers helpful goals, tips, and rubrics to support success in the classroom. The site contains numerous trivia games, advice on new ways to grade, resources for common core lesson plans, and effective tools for finding good primary sources.

Research Aids

Primary Source

Primary Source works with teachers, schools, and educational organizations to offer professional development courses and resources that promote global education. The website offers numerous online classes, seminars, curriculum resources, and international study tours pertaining to various events in World History.

Smithsonian History Explorer

Developed by the National Museum of American History in partnership with the Verizon Foundation, Smithsonian History Explorer offers hundreds of free online resources for teaching and learning American History using actual artifacts from the Smithsonian Archive. The site contains numerous videos, podcasts, webinars, a digital museum artifact collection, and teacher resources that allow users to learn history through artifacts. The site also contains resources aimed specifically at national history Day.


Google contains many unique search tools that can greatly help in research pursuits.

Google Books: Google’s online marketplace for finding books to purchase by both digital download or by mail, also holds thousands of free online publications that are perfect for historical research. A simple google books search will bring up both primary and secondary sources to aid in research endeavors. Using the tools button under the search bar, you can set your search to free, and narrow down your search further by document type, year of publication, and relevance. When in search of free publications you can also type your subject matter into the search bar with the word free next to it, and all free publications on that subject will show up.

Google Images: Google image search has a unique set of tools that allows users to search the internet for images that are labeled for free use and modification. This is a powerful tool for supplying imagery for research projects, video documentaries, and more. Google’s image search tools also allow users to search by image type, for example if you were looking for only photographs or line drawings. User can also narrow down their search by color scheme. Google Image search also has a unique function where users can reverse image search. By clicking on the camera icon in the search bar, users can upload a photo from their computer, and search the internet for that image, and similar images. This is a powerful tool that helps users to track down information regarding images. For example, if you found an old black and white image you wanted to use, but were not sure of its original source location, or the details of the image, you could reverse search the image with google image search, and find where else it is located online. This would ideally allow you to find find a reputable and scholarly source location to download the image and cite from.

Classroom Materials

ED Tech Teacher

ED Tech Teacher offers multiple lesson plans and teacher resources, such as timelines, maps, virtual tours, electronic field trips using google earth, and a large selection of websites that offer classroom friendly games and quizzes.

Historic Maps in K-12 Classrooms

This resource for K-12 teachers and students developed by the Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography at the Newberry Library is designed to bring historically significant map documents into your classroom. The site contains numerous high quality images of historic map documents that illustrate American History vis geographical dimensions. Each map is accompanied by a grade level specific lesson plans designed to support a variety of social studies, history, and geography curriculum.

Library of Congress

The Library of Congress provides numerous free lesson plans, classroom resources, and professional development opportunities that can be utilized in the classroom.

Teach Hub

Teach Hub offers multiple activities related to history topics, professional development opportunities, information on graduate programs. The site is aimed at K-12 educators.