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THIST 151 World History II: 1500 to Present - Sundermann: Assignment


Primary source assignment[1].

 As a class project students will create a new primary source reader for the study of World History 1500-1985. Each student will submit their individual source with annotations to Canvas. Groups will also present their group efforts to the class on May 19.

  • Students will compile a collection of primary sources on the themes of World History presented in THIST 151 (Columbian Exchange (Columbian Exchange, Ecological Imperialism, Connections Across Water/"Age of Exploration"), Dual Revolutions (French, Haitian, American, etc. and Industrial), Empires and Imperialism, and the Twentieth Century (World Wars).
  • Each student will be part of a group working on one theme, but each student will also act as an individual contributor to the collection: using the UWT library databases each student will identify, find, and provide in hard/electronic copy a document that is historically significant and thus should be included in the primary source reader.
  • Groups must coordinate to provide a range of types of sources (e.g. images, letters, government documents, diaries, excerpts of fiction and non-fiction, etc.) that come from around the world.
    • (E.g. if your group is working on the Industrial Revolutions, you would want to find sources from different places around the world to explain the ages of industrialization from 1500-1985).


  • Find a document using the UWT library databases and/or a university, museum, or government or other archival organization—you may not use a primary source that you find in an internet/web primary source collection. In other words--you may not just go to an existing edited collection of primary sources and borrow from it--you need to spend time searching for your source, and researching about your primary source to create your contribution to the course collection.
  • Documents may vary: photographs or artwork, speeches, letters, an excerpt of fiction or non-fiction written during the time period song lyrics, official reports, laws, diary entries, news articles, etc. are fair game but these whatever source you provide must be a primary source and you must provide the bibliographic information of where you found the source in Chicago style.
  • You must also provide a copy of the original source (upload a scan of your document to Canvas).
  • You must edit and annotate your document for the primary source collection. E.g if you use a written document find sections of the document you find most significant and re-type them. Annotations should include bibliographic information, definitions of language that may unfamiliar to the reader, an introduction that explains the documents historical significance (who created it? When? Why? What is the significance of the document to the theme your document illustrates?) See models of the finished product here and here.
  • Your final submission should be report should be typed, double-spaced and between 1-2 pages in length. Upload it to Canvas. 



[1] Original ideas for this assignment from



[3] In Chicago/Turabian style.