One way historians learn about a historical era is to examine primary documents and sources – first-hand records – from that time. Newspaper articles, government reports and letters are important primary sources, but we think photographs are the most fun primary sources to examine. They provide visual evidence of a time period that can expand your understanding of it – and help you really picture history.
That’s why we’re sharing these photo collections. Each uses pictures to tell a story about Lower East Side life in the early 1900s. Your job? Put on your historian glasses and examine each photo. What do you see? What do you notice about the people in the picture and the setting? What objects are in the photo? What clues in the picture tell you something about the time period?