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EDUC 298: Using Primary Sources to Teach for Social Justice: Primary Sources

Start Your Research at the Library!

Stonewall Button

Use this guide to assist you in finding the primary sources that you'll base your lesson plan on.  You'll be exploring one of two general topic areas.

  • Life just before and just after Stonewall (June 28 1969).
  • The attempts in the mid-to-late 1970's to restrict gay rights. 


Fischer, Roger A., “Stonewall GLBT button,”
Digital Public Library of America


Selecting Your Primary Source Material

Selecting your primary sources is an important component of your lesson plan and presentation.  You will want to spend some time exploring which documents are available that are related to your topic. Try to give yourself sufficient time to explore multiple options. You will want to choose primary sources that are appropriate for K-12 students, and that have enough applicable content in them to inform the lesson you're preparing.

For this project, you will be making use of the Archives of Sexuality & Gender, a digitized collection of archival materials. Archival documents are unique print materials that may or may not have been originally intended for a wider audience or that are often ephemeral in nature. 

What's a primary source?

Primary sources are original, uninterpreted information.  Scholars analyze primary sources in order to answer research questions. Examples of primary sources vary by discipline.

Examples in the humanities:

  • a novel
  • a painting
  • a theatre performance

Examples in the social sciences:

  • a political, social, or economic theory
  • a dataset
  • the results of an experiment published in a peer-reviewed journal

Example in the sciences:

  • the results of an experiment published in a peer-reviewed journal

Social Sciences Liaison Librarian

Profile Photo
Andrea J. Klyn
Office: LIB 141