Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Finding Primary Sources Part 4

I am back to the topic of primary sources and have come across even more that can be used by many for research projects and papers.  All of them are free, some of them have a focus more International than National, so the opportunities are endless.

America in Class is a site established by the National Humanities Council.  The focus is primarily literature and history, but it also offers Professional Development.  The site links topics to the Common Core State Standards as well.  The site focuses on America from its beginnings to present time. The site also has a collection of secondary sources, such as essays and literature written by scholars.  It’s all free to use.

The National Endowment for the Humanities has started chronicling newspapers from all over the United States.  Users can access newspaper articles from every state in the US.  It is sorted by state and paper name.  It lists the oldest issue available as well as the number of issues available.  It’s free to use.

The Wilson Center Digital Archive features an international collection of documents that have been previously hidden from society. The browse themes and documents features send readers to clippings, maps and images about the topics available.  Users see a map with pins in specific areas.   The themes section leads users to many international topics.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Finding Primary Sources: Part Three

The last few posts have focused on Primary Sources for a paper.  Because I am such a nerd when it comes to research and I feel that the most accurate information is by far the best, I feel this topic is one to address over several posts.  I continue with three new places to visit to locate primary sources.

The Avalon Project:  Yale Law has established a large database dating back to the 4000 BC.  Most of the focus is historical and legal, but, it has a lot of materials that a classroom teacher can access.   You are going to find more documents in the 1800s and beyond, but there is a collection of material that can be used for a paper or project.

Spartacus Educational is a collection of documents about specific people and events throughout history. There are specific events listed in the database, but you can also connect to the Index and get a visual link to several topics, including the World Wars, General American History, British History and Biographies.  This site is developed by a Brit, so the text might be written with British flair, (for example, the History of Football isn’t what we American’s know as football, but soccer) it does covers a lot of information.

Fordham University has created a large database of full text sources that is accessible free of charge.  The content  includes a lot of information about Western Civilization, Religion, Revolutions both foreign and domestic.  When you find the topic of interest, you click it and it takes you to a large list of links that relate.  Some topics have hundreds of items available to use for research.   The information is both internal on Fordham’s site as well as external on the web.  Either way, it offers a lot of free information for a paper or research project.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Finding Primary Sources: Part Two

Last week, I posted a brief article about finding primary sources for free.   With the drive to go One to One in school and the push to back away from traditional textbooks, using digital primary sources is a fantastic way of getting the information you need online.

In part one, I mentioned the Library of Congress, The National Archives and DocsTeach.   Let's look at a few other sites to use for primary source searching.

First of all, Historypin.  History pin is Pinterest for primary sources.  It features a series of projects loaded with images from all over the world.  It's a global collection of materials that people don't normally see.   There are projects, basically tagboards, loaded with images that relate.  People add them to the community as a reference.  When the board is opened, a map appears and community members pin an image, document, etc, to the map.  It's a great idea, but it seems to be early in it's life cycle so it's continuing to grow.   I would recommend this for Middle School age students and up.  Some of the visuals may be difficult for a younger child to understand. (Holocaust, Genocide, etc.)

Second off, let's take a look at the Digital Public Library of America.   This site is a huge collection of images, documents and artifacts that anyone can access free. Per their website: "The DPLA  brings these different viewpoints, experiences, and collections together in a single platform and portal, providing open and coherent access to our society’s digitized cultural heritage." The site pulls information from libraries all over North America into one main location.   It is loaded with things are it seems to be fairly easy to use. It has an exhibitions tab that focus on a specific topic.  Within that exhibitions, users can see a large amount of information that pertains to a topic.  It's a great way to get a lot of information.

Finally, the Life Magazine Photo Archive.  Life Magazine's photo collection is by far one of the most vast photo collections out there with all sorts of images that can lead to writing prompts, research topics and even more. The page has been taken over by google, but the images are sorted by dates and as well as topics. They go back all the way to the 1860s.