Saturday, July 23, 2011

HUGE Listing: 84 Places to Locate Primary Sources!

I am currently in the process of updating all the resource links from my web page and have been adding pages to this blog. Here's my list of primary sources which has been added to the new page "Reference Tools." All pages will constantly be updated (I will let you know when that happens)

100 Milestone Documents- from 1776-1995

America in the 1930s

The American Folklife Center

American Memory from the Library of Congress- browse collections by time period, place, topic; search through map collections, manuscripts, motion pictures, sheet music, photos, prints, sound recordings and books or other printed texts. EXCELLENT SITE!

American Memory Map Collections-search for cities/towns, conservation/environment, discovery/exploration and general maps

American Rhetoric- online speech bank

Archives in the Attic- documents from the Great Depression

Archiving Early America- newspapers, maps & writings from 18th century America

The Authentic History Center- artifacts and sounds from American popular culture

The Avalon Project at Yale Law School-documents in law, history and diplomacy

Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley- 0ver 60 million manuscript items and 600,000 volumes; huge collection

Battle Lines: Letters From America's Wars- thousands of wartime letters, from the Gilder Lehrman

Biblioteche Saint Genevive- blind-tool bookbindings from 12th-18th centuries

The Charters of Freedom- Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, Constitution

Child Labor in America- covers 1908-1912 official records of the union and confederate armies; covers 1881-1900.

Civil War Primary Source Documents- HUGE listing from Tracey Oz, history teacher

The Coming of the American Revolution- from the Massachusetts Historical Society; 14 lessons include primary source documents

Digital Library on American Slavery-from the University of North Carolina at Greenboro

Documents for the Study of American History- from 1000-2000, this is a very extensive listing of pdf and audio files

Documenting the American South- from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Eurodocs- selected transcriptions, facsimiles and translations

Eyewitness: American Originals from the National Archives

Eyewitness to History- audio clips from people entitled "Voices of the 20th Century"

F.B.I.: The Vault

Franklin Institute American History and Government Hotlists

Headlines and Audio from 1900-1999

Historical Text Archive- over 9,000 articles, books and links

History of Ireland- primary documents

History Matters- includes 1,00 primary documents, images and audio interviews


Holocaust Photos- [very graphic]

Letters from an Iowa Soldier in the Civil War- written by Newton Robert Scott

Library of Congress Exhibitions- search from A to Z

Library of Congress Teachers' Page- classroom materials, themed resources, lesson plans, collection connections, professional development and so much more. EXCELLENT SITE!

The Lincoln Archives Digital Project

Medieval Sourcebook- full text sources

Milestone Documents- site created by historians and veteran teachers; includes activity guides, study questions, lesson plans and much more.

The National Archives YouTube Channel

The National includes electronic records, maps and aerial images, microfilm, motion picture and sound, photos, posters, pictures and texual/paper records

National Archives DocsTeach- create activities with the online documents

National Humanities Center- "historical documents, literary texts, and works of art—thematically organized with notes and discussion questions."

National Jukebox: Historical Recording from the Library of Congress

The New Deal Network- educational guide to the Great Depression

New York Public Library- documents, video, audio

Newspaper and Current Periodical Reading Room- from the Library of Congress, this extensive listing includes: historical collections from 19th and 20th century

The 1900's- headlines and audio from 1900-1999

Office of the Federal Register- public papers of the Presidents of the United States, federal laws

The Oriental Institute- photographic archives includes maps from Egypt, Iran, Iraq and Sudan

The Papers of George Washington- contains documents, articles, maps and images

Photos of the Great Depression- includes dust storms, farms for sale, migrant workers

Popular Songs in American History- from 17th century; this is a huge collection of audio files!

Presidential Libraries Listing

The Presidential Timeline of the Twentieth Century- documents, photographs, audio recordings, more

Primarily History- primary sources blog written by a college librarian

Primary Source Materials and Document Based Questions- a hotlist divided into the following categories: primary source materials, document based questions, assessments, general resources and constructed response questions.

Primary Sources: Oral History and Audio-Visual Materials- photos, newsreels, pamphlets, advertisements, TV clips

Primary Sources: The Korean War- from the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library

Prints and Photographs Reading Room- from the Library of Congress, these are selected images of Ellis Island and Immigration.

Regional History- exhibits from the National Archives includes the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, Influenza Epidemic in 1918, the Atlanta Regional Archive

Repositories of Primary Sources- over 5,000 websites are listed here, covering manuscripts, archives, historical photographs and other primary sources. WOW!!

Science Service Historical Image Collection- 20th century scientific research; site claims "the captions were written by Science Service journalists and have been transcribed exactly".

The Smithsonian Collections- covers art, history, science, libraries

Teaching with Documents- from the National Archive; lesson plans

The Thomas Jefferson Digital Archive- over 1700 items, (electronic texts, some color manuscript
images; 9,000 quotations arranged by theme, date, topic recipient and place of publication

Time and Life Pictures- search by date or use the advanced search

Timeline of Art History- from the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database- over 35,000 slaving voyages

Turning the Pages- document include: first atlas of Europe, the oldest printed book, the original Alice's Adventures Underground (Alice in Wonderland) and Mozart's musical diary.

Why Use Primary Sources?- from the Library of Congress; ten reasons listed

Women's Speeches from Around the World

World Digital Library- over 10,000 documents from all over the world

World War II in Color-site has photos for download

World War II Military Situation Maps- browse the collection by title, subject or date; from the Library of Congress

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Fighting Computer Viruses That Threaten Us All

A change of pace here. Security expert Mikko Hypponen's TEDTalk is about how we are fighting viruses and how we can stop them from threatening the Internet. Although the speech is "techy"and might be confusing to some, it's well worth watching.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

18 Almanacs with Loads of Information

One of the most popular books in the library is the Guinness Book of World Records. Did you know that it is considered an almanac?  Here's why.  According to, an almanac "is an annual publication containing a calendar for the coming year, the times of such events and phenomena as anniversaries,sunrises and sunsets, phases of the moon, tides, etc., and other statistical information and related topics". The list below represents 18 popular almanacs.

African American Almanac- history, biographies from Infoplease

Almanac Index- from Infoplease; long list from A to Z

Author and Illustrator Almanacs- from School Library Monthly

Baseball Almanac- contains a huge database of statistics, trivia, scores and reviews

The Celebrity Almanac

CIA World Fact Book- provides detailed country information

CNN Daily Almanac-daily events

Fact Monster- for younger kids

Information Please Almanac- provides several topical almanacs

The Old Farmer's Almanac

Univ. of Pennsylvania Almanac-politics, social studies, history

Weather Almanac-national and international weather forecasts; pollen count etc.

World Almanac for Kids- including inventions, games, polls

The Writers' Almanac-daily program of poetry and history

Monday, July 18, 2011

33 Academic Search Engines

When it comes to academic research, Google is not the answer. Too many students feel that as long as they have Google, everything will be fine. When I ask them if Google will evaluate a web site to see if it can be trusted, they pause for a minute and say "no".  Doing research online can be a daunting experience for both teachers and students, which is why you need to use search engines which are specific to academia. Here's a list of 33 to get you and your students started.

Academic Info-subject guide descriptions provide relevant sites.

Archival Research Catalog- U.S. National Archives

BASE (Bielefeld Academic Search Engine)- over 29 million documents

Bubl- selected Internet resources covering all academic areas.

Chemxseer- "documents in the chemistry domain"

Citeulike- search over 5 million articles

The Collection of Computer Science Bibliographies- computer-science related information 

EBSCOHost- if you are fortunate to have this wonderful resource, (our state library provides it for us) you will find the History Reference Center, Science Reference Center, Literary Reference Center, Student Research Center and much, much more.

ERIC (Educational Resource Information Center)- "online digital library of education research and information"

Food Science Central- "world's largest database of information on food science, food technology and nutrition. " 

History Engine- research historical topics

Infomine- annotated academic sites and subject databases

Infotopia- educator selected sites

Intute- annotated academic sites

IPL- information you can trust

iSeek Education- search a topic or ask a question

JURN- search 4,303 free e-journals in the arts & humanities

LibGuides Community- over 100,000 pathfinders from thousands of libraries

Library of Congress- search for primary source documents, including photos, maps, manuscripts, historic newspapers and much more

MathWeb Search- search for formulas 

PsycLine- psychology and social science journals

RefSeek- (currently in public beta) search over 1 billion documents, web pages, encyclopedias, journals, newspapers

Scirus- scientific information

The Smithsonian Institution Research Information System- "Search over 7.4 million records, with 568,100 images, video and sound files from Smithsonian museums, archives, and libraries."

SurfWax- search your topic and find similar, broader or narrower ones "over 45 databases and over 2000 selected websites from 14 federal agencies"

Sweet Search- selective searches for students

Virtual Learning Resources Center- browse the 12 category directory or use a Google custom search 

WikiArc- archaeological searches 

World-Wide Science- international scientific databases 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

24 Resources for New Teachers

My friend Sheila just posted some great news on Facebook: her daughter was offered a job teaching third grade in the fall.  What an incredible feat in today's job market, with schools cutting jobs left and right. (I can't even think about my budget for September) Anyway, that news gave me my next posting: resources for new teachers. I have also given this topic its own page so I can be updating it regularly. Best of luck to you for taking on the hardest job that you'll really love!!

50 Best Blogs for Brand New Teachers

50 Fantastic Resources for New Teachers

101 Things for the First Three Weeks

Beginning Teachers Chatboard- from

The First Days of School -Harry Wong's Site

Most Important Skills for a New Teacher- post by K. Jarrett, who is a K-4 technology teacher

New Middle Grade Teachers- from

New Teacher Resource Coaching Center- created by ESL teacher Dorit Sasson, the site has many tips and booklets for download.

New Teacher Survival Central- from blogs to basics to classroom tools; Discovery Education site
Newbies- from

Preparing for the First Day-includes a survival kit, ideas; from Education World

Preservice & New Teacher Resources- from the National Science Teachers Association

Resources, Tools and Tips for New Teachers- from; includes tips, printables, helpline and survival guide.

Survival Guide for New Teachers- from the U. S. Department of Education

A "Survival Kit" for New Teachers- from Education World lots of free information
Teachers' Network- covers Back to School Night, opening activities and parent-teacher conferences.

Teachervision's New Teacher Resources- comprehensive list includes, Slideshows of Advice, Beginning of the School Year, The Classroom, Dealing with Homework, Teacher-Parent Relationships, Classroom Notes, Passes, Forms and much more.

Your Daily Checklist for Effective Classroom Management

Summer: A Great Time to Try Something New

I found this short TEDTalk on Free Technology for Teachers. It features Matt Cutts, who suggests that we all try something that we've always wanted to do for 30 days. Cutts, who works at Google as a search engineer, will inspire you...and you have more than 30 days till you return fresh and relaxed to start another school year. BTW, I'm trying to cut down on sugar and carbs. Wish me luck; I'll need it.


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