Digital Library: Teaching with Primary Sources

Explore our growing digital collection of primary sources, which include author background, image analysis and suggested classroom inquiries.


Engraving of an African woman in a bare field hoeing

“Woman Hoeing,” engraving by Fortunato da Alemandini after a watercolor by Giovani Antonio Cavazzi da Montecuccolo in Istorica Descrittione De’ Tre Regni Congo, Matamba, et Angola, 1687. Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, JYF2002.20.

Fortunato da Alemandini’s Engravings of West Central Africans

Learn about West Central African culture through 17th-century engravings by Capuchin friar Fortunato da Alemandini. Based on watercolors painted by fellow friar Giovani Antonio Cavazzi during time spent as a missionary in Angola, these engravings are rare windows into West Central African life.

“Woman Hoeing”

“Blacksmithing”

“Portuguese Priests Baptizing Africans”

“Queen Njinga of Ndongo (1582-1663) Presented to the Portuguese Governor”


Engraving of two American Indians sitting on a reed mat and eating from a shallow bowl of food sitting between them

“Their sitting at meate,” engraving by Theodor de Bry after a watercolor of John White, 1577-1590. From A brief and true report of the new found land of Virginia, 1590. Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation.

Theodor de Bry’s
Engravings of Mid-Atlantic Coastal Indians

Investigate the world of mid-Atlantic coastal Indians and take a closer look at 16th-century engravings by Theodor de Bry – based on drawings of Indigenous people by John White in the 1580s as he explored the coast of modern-day North Carolina – used by historians and scholars to draw inferences of Powhatan culture.

“The manner of making their boates”

“Their manner of fishynge in Virginia”

“Their sitting at meate”

“The browyllinge of their fishe over the flame”

“A weroan or great Lorde of Virginia”


Ayuba Suleiman Diallo

Portrait of Ayuba Suleiman Diallo, attributed to William Hoare, circa 1733, Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, JYF2014.4.

Portraits at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown

Examine the people of colonial America and the American Revolution by exploring portraits on display at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. What does the art tell us about the people portrayed and about the society in which the art originated? Compare the portraits to other primary sources to better understand what they can tell us about the past.

“State Portrait of George III in Coronation Robes”

“Portrait of Ayuba Suleiman Diallo”