Guide on Source Interpretation?

Falko Schnicke's picture

Dear colleagues,

I am looking for an English or German-speaking guide to source interpretation for undergraduate history students.

I have enough material on source criticism, but what I lack is a good guide that shows novice students precisely what to look for when interpreting sources. Miriam Dobson's and Benjamin Ziemann's checklist in their introduction in the volume "Reading Primary Sources" (Routledge, 2009) is beneficial because it introduces in short paragraphs key concepts, metaphors, binary distinctions, the reality effect of sources and so on. This is precisely the content I want to share with the class. However, students find the text too difficult to understand, as I have seen. Therefore, I am looking for additional concrete guides on source interpretation. Any suggestions for online or printed material?

I really appreciate any help you can provide.

Best wishes,
Falko

This note in response to Falko and source interpretation.

I have used the Library of Congress Citizen Archivist site:

Because the site is enormous, you might start here: https://www.archives.gov/citizen-archivist

There are tabs for Educators and Resources for activities I have used with students for LOC resources and others. (Many of these are for middle and high school. But, if you dig, there is a great amount that is helpful too for higher levels).

Hi Falko,
These are not guides but short non-academic pieces in which I discuss how I've interpreted particular sources, including disproving claims about the historical relevance of a particular source. I don't know if they will suit your purposes, but if so they are freely accessible. The first deals with visual materials, the second with written materials:

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/06/the-spy-photo-tha...

https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/the-vanishing-black-woman-spy-reappe...

Best regards,
Lois