Grades 9-12 | UMSL
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Grades 9-12

Welcome to our Anniversary Educational Series

 
We invite you on a virtual field trip of the St. Louis Mercantile Library. Below you will find a series of videos and assignments that take you on a tour of our library, introduce you to our staff, and teach you about what we do. You will also learn what primary and secondary sources are, how you can find them, and how you can use them to conduct historical research. The content on this page is appropriate for grades 9-12. Use the left-hand navigation bar to explore other grades or visit the main page to learn more about the program.
 

Program Introduction

 
The St. Louis Mercantile Library is a research library with diverse special collections. It is the oldest library west of the Mississippi River and the grandparent of St. Louis cultural institutions. We welcome you to explore our collections and use them to enhance your research and academic studies. We also hope to share our love of learning with you and show you how history can come alive. We invite you to get lost in the stories of individuals and communities preserved within our walls. You will find stories of creativity and innovation, perseverance and determination, and growth and change. We hope these stories inspire you, that you see yourself in them, and that you learn from them.
 

Below you will find the program divided into three parts. It should take about 90 minutes to complete the entire field trip. 

  • In Part 1 you will take a tour of the library. 
  • In Part 2 you will learn about primary sources and how to use our digital library to conduct research. 
  • In Part 3 you will learn how to analyze primary sources by exploring themes in our collections relevant to Missouri K-12 learning standards. If you are doing this program for school, make sure you choose the theme assigned by your teacher. The video of Part 3 is followed by a hands-on assignment that walks you through finding and using primary sources to conduct historical research.
     

The program concludes with Part 3, but you will find additional videos, assignments, and resources under the extras section at the bottom of the page. You will also find a feedback survey. We thank you for visiting us and hope you enjoy your virtual field trip.

 

List of key terms and definitions you will hear on your field trip


 
In this video you will take a virtual tour of the St. Louis Mercantile Library. You will meet our staff and go behind the scenes to learn about what we do and how we serve researchers around the world.
 
 
In this video you will learn what primary and secondary sources are and how to access them. You will also learn how to use our digital library.
 
 
In Part 3 you will learn how to analyze primary sources by exploring various themes that complement Missouri Department of Education learning standards. If doing this program for school, make sure you choose the theme assigned by your teacher. After the video, there is a follow-up assignment that will guide you through using our digital library to find and analyze primary sources to answer historical research questions.
 
 
More topics coming soon!
 

 
Additional Resources for Educators
 
TREASURES OF THE ARCHIVES TOUR
 
Join us on a special behind the scenes tour of the St. Louis Mercantile Library's vault as we view some of the rarest and most significant treasures of the library.