Primary Source Sets

The Northfield History Collaborative has developed these Primary Source Sets to organize our online content into topics for students and researchers to explore. All of these sets include a topic overview, links to approximately 15 unique digitized items available on the Collaborative's online database, classroom activities and teaching guides, related resources, and a guide to interpreting and using primary sources for research.

We encourage you to explore the Northfield-area stories that can be found within the sources online!

Settlement & Immigration

The James-Younger Gang

Malt-O-Meal in Northfield

Agriculture and Farming

Women in Northfield

Milling in Northfield

World War I Home Front

1918 Influenza Epidemic

World War II in Northfield

Northfield Architecture

Religion in Northfield

Entertaining Northfield

Following are some guidelines you can use to analyze the primary sources in each of the Primary Source Sets listed above.

For each source, indicate:

-the author’s point of view
-the author’s purpose
-historical context
-audience

For further analysis, ask students to:

-explain how a source tells its story and/or makes its argument
-explain the relationships between sources
-compare and contrast source in terms of point of view and method
-support conclusions and interpretations with evidence
-identify questions for further investigation

Additional Tools

Document Analysis Worksheets from the National Archives

Using Primary Sources from the Library of Congress

We would like to thank the Minnesota Digital Library for their guidance in creating the Primary Source Set system for the Northfield History Collaborative.

For Minnesota-based Primary Source Sets, check out their growing list of topics!

These publications were made possible in part by the people of Minnesota through a grant funded by an appropriation to the Minnesota Historical Society from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Any views, findings, opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the State of Minnesota, the Minnesota Historical Society, or the Minnesota Historic Resources Advisory Committee.