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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.

Police officers and illegal liquor, Northfield, Minnesota

Temperance to Prohibition

Learn how the national temperance movement evolved resulting in prohibition of liquor and how it played out in Minnesota.

Suffragist wagon New

Women's Suffrage in Minnesota

Explore resources related to the women's suffrage movement in Minnesota.

World War I home front, Duluth, Minnesota

World War I on the Minnesota Home Front

World War I had a profound impact of the lives of Minnesotans. Explore these resources to learn about the Minnesota home front.