Primary Historical Documents
These historical documents related, mostly, to Amsterdam and its history, are taken from the online archives known as the Stadsarchief Amsterdam (Amsterdam Municipal Archives) which contain a historical compilation of topographical maps, drawings, prints, and sound, film and photo archives related to the city of Amsterdam. For each entry, a highlighted link describing the document appears first followed by a brief preview of its content as it appears in the archive files.
This feature is included in order to assist in enhancing lessons by referencing primary source materials to further explain and illuminate the historical context of Amsterdam and the Netherlands as Rembrandt might have experienced it. Document-based learning continues to be a vital part of developing historical literacy in students and access to these primary sources helps to provide a broader context of the life, times, and art of Rembrandt and his historical and artistic contemporaries.
Document-based learning consists, generally, of having students interact with items such as maps, photographs, eyewitness accounts, historical passages, artwork/poetry, and artifacts in order to augment their historical learning and skill development, as well as give them a sense of authenticity about history. By working with primary sources students learn how to use accurate data, develop ideas by using authentic supporting evidence as examples, reasons, details, explanations and generalizations, and examine historical events from multiple perspectives.