Empowering Students with Primary Sources

Sponsored by ProQuest, Part of Clarivate
Recorded on 09/14/2023

Posted in Primary Sources and Special Collections

How can primary sources be leveraged to promote student engagement?


Join us for an inspiring session where historian and professor Rebecca Jo Plant and student researcher Cayla Regas shed light on the importance of primary sources in studying women’s history and social movements in the United States. Despite her major in Psychology, Cayla’s journey proves the interdisciplinary transformative impact of primary sources as she took a Civil War class with Rebecca Plant, immersing herself in the authentic voices of Northern women during that era, to create a document project published in Women and Social Movements in the United States: ‘Do not toss this letter away’: Women’s Hardship Petitions to the U.S. Federal Government during the Civil War.

Throughout the session, we’ll explore how document projects are a tool to engage students and how primary sources bring history to life, fostering active learning and critical thinking. Cayla will share her personal connection to historical figures through the women’s letters, showcasing the power of primary sources in understanding the past.

We’ll cover key topics including:

  • The significance of primary sources
  • Document projects as innovative strategies for primary source integration into teaching and learning
  • Inspiring advocacy by bridging the gap between historical and contemporary social issues
  • Practical approaches for leveraging primary sources to promote student engagement and foster connections


  • Rebecca Jo Plant

    Professor, Editor of Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000University of California, San Diego
  • Cayla Regas

    Student Researcher University of California, San Diego
  • Samantha Lubrano (Moderator)

    Product ManagerProQuest, Part of Clarivate

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