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- Understand and recognize the creator.
- Ask thoughtful questions about creator's bias, perspective, and authority.
- Ask thoughtful questions about date, distribution, purpose, and physicality of item.
- Exhibit awareness of one's own bias.
The individual, group, or organization that is responsible for something's production, accumulation, or formation.
- Find a digital collection from your geographic area. University libraries and archives are usually the most likely, but try other large or well-known libraries or archives in your area.
- Select a primary source to observe closely. (It can be a document, photo, map, whatever interests you.)
- Work through the questions in the right hand box, observing your primary source thoughtfully.
- Think about what questions you still have. Objects in digital collections are often out of their original context; where might you go to understand more about your primary source and its context?
Questions for your primary source
- WHAT is it?
- WHO created it?
- WHERE was it created?
- WHEN was it created?
- WHY was it created?
- What are the assumptions made by your primary source? In other words, what does it tell us about societal attitudes at that time?
- Can you trust your primary source to present “historical fact”? If not, where does it present a subjective viewpoint?
- What are some search terms you might use to find out more about the topic(s) in this primary source?