H5P in the Archive

Shelley Rose

In this historical thinking project we will use H5P to explore an historical image as a primary source. In short, you will create a visual narrative of people, places, and things, in the image and contextualize its journey in world history. This narrative method is characteristic of historian Timothy Brook’s analysis in his 2008 book Vermeer’s Hat. See this interview

This activity is an exercise in historical thinking about a specific material primary source.

Intro to Archives and Archival Sources

Archival Research Guiding Questions

  1. What do you expect to find in the archive? (pre-primary source session)
  2. What did you find? (post-primary source session) Students complete historical thinking worksheet. (or use the one provided in the library session)
  3. How do you think historians can use this source for research? (pre-secondary source session)
  4. How have historians used sources like this in secondary research? (post-secondary source session)
  5. What subdisciplines, or “houses,” of history are represented in the secondary sources you located? (post-secondary source session)

Historical Thinking and Primary Source Analysis

Your primary source analysis will include two main components. 1. A complete overview of your historical thinking as you analyze the primary source. This will include listing the steps of historical thinking (sourcing, contextualization, corroboration, and close reading) as part of your chapter, filling in your analysis as you go. 2. You will use H5P to elaborate on the contextualization step and visually analyze your source. See this example: 

H5P Project Lab

You will use H5P content types and your own written analysis to demonstrate the steps of historical thinking with this primary source.

H5P Instructions

  1. Choose an image to serve as your “lens” or a “door.” See the Essential Vermeer for examples of how this works using the “Officer and Laughing Girl” (1658). Be sure to scroll over the image of the painting to see the embedded narratives.
  2. Go to and log in.
  3. In the dashboard, create a “chapter” under the heading “H5P in the Archive.” Label it with the title of your historical thinking project and your last name. You can edit the url to be just your last name and H5P after the forward slash.
  4. Browse the H5P site. Decide on how you would like to format your image to show sourcing, contextualization, corroboration, and close reading
  5. Click on “H5P Content” in the left menu of the Pressbooks Dashboard.
  6. Click on “Add New”
  7. Select your desired H5P Content Type from the menu and start filling in the fields.
  8. When you are finished, click “Create” in the upper right corner of the dashboard.
  9. Return to your chapter page. Navigate to where you want to insert the H5P content and click “Add H5P.” Select your content from the list. Click “Insert”


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