Skip to main content

Primary Source Sets

The Minnesota Digital Library (MDL) Primary Source Sets are designed to help students develop critical thinking skills by exploring a variety of topics related to Minnesota’s history and culture. Using both primary and secondary sources, these sets bring together resources in new ways to help students better understand historic events in their context.

Drawing materials from libraries, archives, and museums across Minnesota, these sets use letters, photographs, advertisements, oral histories, postcards, newsletters, speeches, and more. Each set includes a topic overview, ten to twenty primary sources from the MDL collection, links to related resources, and a section called “Think Like a Historian” which offers discussion questions and classroom activities. We invite educators and researchers to use these primary source sets in their teaching and learning.

Civilian Conservation Corps crew working on East Bearskin Road, north of Grand Marais, Minnesota

Civilian Conservation Corps in Minnesota

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was a work relief program started in 1933; Minnesota's 148 camps had over 70,000 workers.

Construction of St. Anthony Falls apron

Construction of the Apron at St. Anthony Falls, Mississippi River

Learn about the need for and development of the St. Anthony Falls Apron in Minneapolis, MN.

St. Anthony Falls milling district

St. Anthony Falls

St. Anthony Falls, the only true waterfall on the Mississippi River, is responsible for powering mills and birthing a city.