Primary Source Sets
Minnesota Reflections Primary Source Sets are modeled from the Digital Public Library for America Primary Source Sets and designed to help students develop critical thinking skills by exploring a variety of topics related to Minnesota history and culture. Using both primary and secondary sources, these sets bring together different resources in new ways to help students better understand historic events and people in their context.
Drawing online materials from libraries, archives, and museums across Minnesota, these sets use letters, photographs, advertisements, oral histories, postcards, newsletters, papers, speeches and more. Each set includes a topic overview, ten to twenty primary sources, links to related resources, and a teaching guide which includes classroom discussion questions and activities. We invite educators and researchers to use these primary source sets in their teaching and learning.
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was a work relief program started in 1933; Minnesota's 148 camps had over 70,000 workers.
Learn about the need for and development of the St. Anthony Falls Apron in Minneapolis, MN.
Discover advertising trade cards from the late 19th and early 20th-century used by businesses throughout America.
This primary source set explores the history and attractions at the Excelsior Amusement Park, Excelsior, Minnesota.
Learn about the history of cabinet photographs.
This primary source set provides a brief overview of the history of postcards.
Learn about the history chiropractic in Minnesota.
Explore some of the themes and ideas laid out in Laura Ingalls Wilder's autobiographical novel.
This primary source set provides a brief overview of patent medicine with some Minnesota-related resources.
Learn about the history mechanization of farming in Minnesota.
Learn about Minnesota's Iron Range, the immigrants who settled there and how iron mining has helped shape Minnesota.
One of the most violent labor disputes in state history took place at the height of the Depression.
Learn about Morgan Park, a neighborhood in Duluth, constructed by U.S. Steel as a planned community and company town.
Motion picture theaters have played a role in the architectural, cultural, social, and entertainment history of Minnesota.
Learn how people survived and coped with some of Minnesota’s historic natural disasters such as storms, floods and wildfires.
Learn about the infamous James-Younger Gang's attempt to rob the First National Bank of Northfield, Minnesota in 1876.
Learn how the Mayo Clinic formed following a devastating tornado in the Rochester area in 1883.
Seth Eastman is known primarily for his depictions of daily life among the Dakota and Ojibwa tribes.
Explore some of the themes and ideas laid out in Sinclair Lewis's masterpiece of American literature.
St. Anthony Falls, the only true waterfall on the Mississippi River, is responsible for powering mills and birthing a city.
Learn how the national temperance movement evolved resulting in prohibition of liquor and how it played out in Minnesota.
Minnesota's earliest mobile library services were traveling libraries and bookmobile services.
Outlines the development, construction, and use of whaleback boats on the Great Lakes.
World War I had a profound impact of the lives of Minnesotans. Explore these resources to learn about the Minnesota home front.