Primary Source Sets

    Through the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) grant, the State Historical Society of Iowa developed free and downloadable Primary Source Sets to help K-12 educators meet the Iowa Core Content Anchor Standards for Social Studies. These Primary Source Sets address national and international history as well as Iowa-specific history. Educators are encouraged to explore sets beyond a particular grade level – great sources are available at all grade levels that can be tailored for students.

    • Compelling and supporting questions guide each Primary Source Set
    • An introduction, with an Iowa focus, offers an overview for each set
    • Source-dependent questions (available for each source) are provided to aid student understanding
    • Transcripts and grade-appropriate text excerptions are available for ease of use
    • Search the Primary Source Sets by grade level Content Anchor Standards, subject or time period

    Educator Toolkit
    Need help using primary sources with your students? Download the extensive Primary Source Toolkit (K-12), which is filled with tools, worksheets and alternative activities for educators to customize for their classrooms.

    In partnership with Read.Inquire.Write., a Library of Congress TPS grant recipient, the State Historical Society of Iowa is excited to share resources to support primary source-based inquiry and argument writing in social studies.

    Images credited to the State Historical Society of Iowa in these primary source sets are provided solely for educational use. Requests for copies and permissions to use for other purposes should be directed to

    Watch this How-To Video to to learn how to use the sorting tool below.