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Landing at Ellis Island, 1902

[Detail] Landing at Ellis Island, 1902

Analyzing Visual Clues

Photographs, films, and other images are visual evidence of people, places, and events in history. They provide valuable clues to what life was like in the past. But like all clues, visual evidence is a piece of a bigger puzzle. To put the pieces together, you need to play detective. You must become a careful observer of details. As you analyze each photographic clue, keep in mind that photographers and artists, like speakers and writers, have points of view and a story to tell.

How can you become a good historical detective and uncover clues from history? There are some important steps you must follow.

Illustration detailing steps to follow to carry out the activity

With these steps in mind, you are ready to begin your historical detective work.