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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.

Roller coaster and popcorn stand, Excelsior Amusement Park, Excelsior, Minnesota

Excelsior Amusement Park

This primary source set explores the history and attractions at the Excelsior Amusement Park, Excelsior, Minnesota.

St. Clair Theater, St. Paul, Minnesota

Motion picture theaters in Minnesota

Motion picture theaters have played a role in the architectural, cultural, social, and entertainment history of Minnesota.