Primary Source Highlights on DocsTeach

We’re constantly updating — the online tool for teaching with documents from the National Archives. Here are some recent highlights.

Newly Added Primary Sources

Actors watching

Hollywood Ten – We recently added court documents related to the screenwriters, producers, and directors who jeopardized their careers by taking a stand against the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). Several court cases, including Dalton Trumbo v. Loew’s Inc., show the ten suing their employers for breach of contract.

Image: Members of the “Hollywood Committee for the First Amendment,” including Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, watch HUAC hearings (Dalton Trumbo v. Loew’s Incorporated, from the Records of District Courts of the United States)

Building with people in front

The Cowen Report – In 1906, the U.S. Government sent immigration inspector Philip Cowen on an undercover mission to Russia to discover the cause of increased Jewish immigration. His findings revealed persecution of Russian Jews, difficult living conditions, economic hardship, and, most tragically, pogroms – targeted attacks on Jews. Read more about his investigation in a recent blog post.

Image: Building with rifle shots, smashed windows, and fire damage (Cowen Report – European Investigation Entry No. 9, from the Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service)

Staff Favorites

We asked our staff to pick a can’t-miss document on DocsTeach. Jenny Sweeney, education specialist at the National Archives at Fort Worth, couldn’t choose just one!

ListHere are a few compelling primary sources that she likes to share with teachers.

Do you have a favorite? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below or at!

What Docs should we add?

Every month the National Archives adds thousands of newly digitized primary sources to the main online catalog. We search through these additions to find those incredible teachable documents that help educators and students unlock the past to add to DocsTeach.

Would you like a say in what we add? Here are some recently digitized collections in our catalog. If you find something that you think your students (and others around the world) would benefit from, let us know. Comment below or send us the URL or the “National Archives Identifier” number.

President Reagan at DeskVideos from the White House Television Office during the Reagan Administration – Coverage includes speeches and remarks, Oval Office visits, bill signings, ceremonies, press conferences, Heads of State visits, trips, Inaugural events, campaign rallies, and Republican National Conventions.

Woman salutingWorld War II Foreign Posters – Produced by foreign information offices and war relief associations in the United States, the posters cover topics such as: children, conservation, employment, victory bonds, black markets, propaganda, recruitment, the Red Cross, sabotage and safety and security.

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