Primary Sources in World History introduces readers to key times in history by exploring objects, buildings, documents, texts and artworks from the period. Each source is illustrated, accompanied by text that explains what it tells historians about how people lived at that time.
Primary Sources in World History is linked to common core standards and curricula that require students to be able to interpret a range of primary sources as evidence about the nature of the past, understanding history as a construct of many individual “facts” that can be considered in various ways.
Primary sources are the raw materials of historical research. They bring history and cultures to life by providing direct evidence of how people lived, their views and attitudes and their understanding of their place in the world.
Each volume in the series focuses on a particular period in history. An introduction gives an overview of the period to provide a wider context. This is followed by a series of self-contained spreads, each of which is based on a single primary source, be it an object, an image, or a written account. Each source is illustrated, accompanied by text that explains what it tells historians about the time—but also suggests instances where there are doubts or conflicting views about how a source should be interpreted. The text explains the background of the source and explores its significance, investigating what it tells us about the people who created it and how they lived and saw their world. Subsidiary boxes look at how the source relates to others from the period, provide additional eyewitness quotes or highlight important individuals.
Each book has a full introduction and concludes with a timeline, glossary, and list of resources for further information.