Primary Source Sets: Teaching Utah History

Lauren Katz History, News and Events, Research, Research Guides

The Utah State Archives is thrilled to introduce Primary Source Sets curated from the official Utah government records repository. Each set provides historical context for important events, discussion questions, and primary source examples for both elementary and secondary school students.

A primary source is a first-hand account of an event or topic. Letters, meeting minutes, photographs, diary entries, interviews, and sound or video recordings are examples of primary sources created as a time or event is occurring. Oral histories, newspaper articles, and autobiographies are examples of primary sources created after the event or time in question but offering first-hand accounts. Because the Utah State Archives is the official archive for all government records going back to territorial days, there are a lot of primary sources to uncover! To help, our Archivists have created five sets that are organized by topic:

Each set contains between six and eight primary source records with descriptions and analysis questions as well as historical context resources. The resources that provide historical context have been selected and organized into separate lists as appropriate for elementary students and secondary students. We hope these encourage students and researchers to explore the Utah State Archives to find even more.

The Primary Source Sets were conceived, created, and compiled by Mariah Todd, an intern at the Utah State Archives in the fall of 2019. At the time, Mariah was a senior at Utah Valley University, majoring in history with a minor in environmental studies. Having worked for two years as an Instructional Assistant at UVU helping to teach classes on American Civilization, Mariah was the perfect fit for our Education and Outreach Internship. Mariah also authored a blog post using Pardon Application records. Thanks to her dedication and hard work, we are pleased to offer our first of many Educator Resources.