Primary source documents can enable—and enrich—original research, but hands-on use of them can be challenging initially.

Digital archives require certain skills, strategy, and techniques that may challenge students and experienced researchers. To help acquire the necessary skills more quickly and draw deeper and richer insights, Gale is adding Learning Centers into each of our primary source archives.

Valuable to students

Built largely with the student researcher in mind, the Gale Primary Sources Learning Centers quickly orient new users with the content and topics available in a digital archive; they spark inspiration for new research topics; and they provide guidance and best practices for searching, browsing, citing, and reusing primary sources.

Valuable to faculty and librarians

The Learning Centers are invaluable for faculty, teachers, archivists, and librarians in their teaching responsibilities, providing an all-in-one instructional tool to help educators in their efforts to increase primary source literacy amongst students, teach research skills, and tie resources to classroom instruction. Experienced researchers and archivists will also find useful archive functionality and tips that may help them with their own research projects and use of library special collections.

Built using pedagogical learning frameworks

The Learning Centers are organized into four workflow steps: ConceptualizeFindRead, and Use. These steps are based on the research objectives outlined in the Guidelines for Primary Source Literacy, developed by a joint taskforce between the Society of American Archivists (SAA) and the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL). The workflow mimics the student research process, from formulating a research question to finding and analyzing sources to incorporating those sources in an essay, research paper, or dissertation.

Engaging content

Each workflow section features detailed instructional content that’s engaging and accessible with the primary goal of teaching research skills to users. Main content includes topic overviews, sample search engine uses, essays by subject experts, step-by-step search term strategies, case studies, and discussion questions to encourage further exploration, teach academic competency, and advance learning outcomes.

Available in select archives at no extra charge

Learning Centers are currently available in select Gale Primary Sources archives – with more soon to come. If your school, university, or public library already have access to these products, the Learning Centers will become automatically available, at no additional charge to the institution.

In these short, one-minute videos, one of the editors involved in creating the Learning Centers explains each workflow step:

Workflow Step 1: Conceptualize

Workflow Step 2: Find

Workflow Step 3: Read

Workflow Step 4: Use

In this video, learn more about the pedagogical learning frameworks on which the Gale Primary Sources Learning Centers were designed and built.

Interested in learning more?

Fill out the form below to request a demo of the Learning Centers.

(please do not use an acronym)