Teaching with Primary Sources: Looking at the Support Needs of Instructors (Final International Report)

Research output: Other contribution


Ithaka S+R’s Teaching Support Services Program investigates the teaching practices and support needs of collegiate instructors. This project in the program, “Supporting Teaching with Primary Sources,” focused on identifying how to effectively support instructors and their students find, access, and use primary sources in classroom environments. Encounters with primary sources—historical or contemporary artifacts that bear direct witness to a specific period or event—are central to the pedagogy of many disciplines, especially in the humanities and humanistic social sciences. Their use in undergraduate instruction aligns with universities’ commitments to experiential and inquiry-based learning and library initiatives focused on media and information literacy. Reflecting the importance of the topic within higher education, “Supporting Teaching with Primary Sources” attracted the largest cohort of any Ithaka S+R program to date. Research teams at 26 academic libraries in the United States and United Kingdom joined the program. ProQuest, which sponsored the project, conducted interviews with instructors at an additional 16 universities. Together, the 27 research teams interviewed 335 instructors, asking detailed questions about how instructors design courses and assignments utilizing primary sources, and where and how instructors and their students discover and access primary sources appropriate for classroom use.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2021


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