How to Use the Digital History Reader


Welcome to the Digital History Reader, an online learning experience designed to enable students to develop the analytical skills employed by historians. The Reader presents key events in U.S. and European history in the format of self-contained modules. Students learn by exploring the data presented, evaluating conflicting accounts or interpretations, and developing their own conclusions based on the evidence provided.

This introductory module familiarizes you with the structure of the Digital History Reader's European History segment and offers useful strategies to employ while reading the materials. Within each module, the Introduction section defines the historical question or questions central to understanding the module's primary topic. Such questions might include, Should women vote? Did the First World War bring about the Russian Revolution in 1917? Can humans control the natural world? As you read through the material presented in each module, keep the questions foremost in your mind and formulate careful analyses based on the multimedia evidence provided.

Within each module, read the material in the following sequence: Introduction, Context, Evidence, Assignments, Conclusion, Resources. In addition, take note of the image under the navigation on the left-hand side of each page. The image will change per module but remain static on all pages within a module. You may find that your understanding of the module image deepens or changes as you proceed through the materials. Look now at the image used for this introductory module: any guesses as to its historical significance?