Primary Source Sets are intended to be a guide for incorporating primary sources into the classroom. These sets are designed to help students develop analytical and critical thinking skills through exposure to digital primary sources representing significant topics in Pennsylvania history. They offer a new and interactive way to engage in the historical content of PA Digital.

Each set contains a topic overview, a set of primary sources, links to related secondary sources, and a teaching guide with classroom discussion questions and activities. The primary sources are curated from PA Digital collections, contributed by museums, libraries, historical societies, and other cultural heritage institutions from across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

We appreciate any feedback on the sets! You can fill out our assessment form and let us know what you think. If you have any questions about the sets or are interested in sets on a specific topic, contact us at

William Penn & the Early Quakers
History of Railroads in Pennsylvania
Glass Plate Negatives
The Steel Industry and Labor Unions
The Battle of Gettysburg
The Fight for Suffrage
WWII and the Pennsylvania Homefront
Quaker Beliefs and Practices in America
Exploring Student Protest

View primary source sets from other organizations:

DPLA Primary Source Sets

Historical Society of Pennsylvania Primary Source Sets

Library of Congress Primary Source Sets for Pennsylvania


Thank you to the DPLA and the Minnesota Digital Library for their guidance in creating these sets and to Margery Sly of Temple University’s Special Collections Research Center and Dr. Timothy Patterson of Temple University’s College of Education. Read more about our partnership with Temple University faculty, staff, and students in this article from their College of Education and Human Development.