14 WEB RESOURCES FOR TEACHING AMERICAN HISTORY THROUGH MATERIAL CULTURE
(in no particular order) Compiled by Brian DeLay, UC Berkeley, Oct 2010
1. Picturing U.S. History: An Interactive Resource for Teaching with Visual Evidence. http://picturinghistory.gc.cuny.edu/
A digital project based on the belief that visual materials are vital to understanding the American past. This website provides online "Lessons in Looking," a guide to Web resources, forums, essays, reviews, and classroom activities to help teachers incorporate visual evidence into their classrooms. The Picturing U.S. History site will also serve as a clearing house for teachers interested in incorporating visual documents into their U.S. history, American studies, American literature, or other humanities courses. *See especially ?Images and Identity in Colonial America? under ?Lessons in Looking.? http://picturinghistory.gc.cuny.edu/lessons_colonial.php
2. Artifacts of Jamestown (virtualjamestown.org) http://www.virtualjamestown.org/images/artifacts/jamestown.html
Thin on descriptions, this site nonetheless has good images of many objects uncovered by archaeologists working at Jamestown.
3. Martha Ballard?s Diary Online: http://dohistory.org/
A remarkable site revolving around the diary kept by Martha Ballard, a midwife living and working in New England in the late 18th and early 19th century. The basis for Laurel Thatcher Ulrich?s Pulitzer-Prize winning book A Midwife?s Tale, the diary is presented here both in the original handwriting and, at the click of the mouse, in typed transcription. The site allows students to search throughout the text, enabling them to search on a huge variety of topics. Included here both because the site is devoted to one remarkable object ? a very detailed, long-running diary, and because students can search in the diary to learn more about a great variety of material objects Ballard used in everyday life.
4. Raid on Deerfield: The Many Stories of 1704: http://1704.deerfield.history.museum/home.do
Excellent site about a 1704 Indian raid on the town of Deerfield, MA. Includes analysis, timelines, documents, captivity narratives, maps, and many images of objects, grouped into useful categories.
5. Gold Rush! online exhibit, Oakland Musuem http://museumca.org/goldrush/
On January 24, 1848 James Marshall discovered gold at Sutter's Mill, touching off the California gold rush. On the 150th anniversary of Marshall's discovery, the Oakland Museum of California unveiled a series of exhibitions titled Gold Rush! California's Untold Stories.
6. Picture This: California Perspectives on American History. Oakland Museum http://museumca.org/picturethis/1_0.html
An educational resource that features primary source images
from the Oakland Museum of California?s collections that reflect
the rich cultural diversity of California.
? Over 140 primary source images for students and educators
? Includes photographs, drawings, posters, and prints
? Connections to California State History Standards
? Covers a 200 - year time span
? Visual literacy activities
? Historical information with each image
7. Plains Indian Ledger Art. http://weber.ucsd.edu/~rfrank/
This site is dedicated to presenting and and preserving Plains Indian "Ledger" art, drawings on paper, from the late 19th century for research and enjoyment. Please explore the site freely. You may set up a free account which will provide a personal research station with a number of features.
8. Emergence of Advertising in America, 1850-1920. http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/eaa/
Presents over 9,000 images, with database information, relating to the early history of advertising in the United States. The materials, drawn from the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library at Duke University, provide a significant and informative perspective on the early evolution of this most ubiquitous feature of modern American business and culture.
9. California History Online (California Historical Society) http://www.californiahistoricalsociety.org/timeline/
Units on different eras of California history; each unit features artifacts and illustrations. Well made.
10. David Rumsey Historical Map Collection. http://www.davidrumsey.com/
Students can learn to ?read? maps as objects with much to teach us besides cartography. This site contains more than 22,000 maps, most from the 18th and 19th century.
11. Images of African Americans from the 19th Century (New York Public Library) http://digital.nypl.org/schomburg/images_aa19/
Huge collection, great interface.
12. Whole Cloth: Discovering Science and Technology through American History. http://invention.smithsonian.org/centerpieces/whole_cloth/index.html
?This ambitious Web site seeks to provide interdisciplinary curriculum materials about the history of technology for middle and high school classrooms. Whole Cloth, as the name suggests, uses the history of American textile manufacture to weave together technological, social, and cultural change. The project hopes to increase students' understanding of technological innovation and, especially, to support learning experiences that attract women and all students of color to study science, math, and engineering.? From Review in JAH
13. Prints and Photographs Online Catalogue (Library of Congress) http://www.loc.gov/pictures/
Gigantic ? not something to have students sift through without help. But incredible depth and breadth, and loads of possibilities for guided teaching plans.
14. The Geography of Slavery in Virginia. http://www2.vcdh.virginia.edu/gos/
A digital collection of advertisements for runaway and captured slaves and servants in 18th- and 19th-century Virginia newspapers. Building on the rich descriptions of individual slaves and servants in the ads, the project offers a personal, geographical and documentary context for the study of slavery in Virginia, from colonial times to the Civil War.
15. 19TH CENTURY AMERICA IN ART AND LITERATURE (National Gallery of Art) http://www.nga.gov/education/classroom/19th_century_america/
In the United States, the nineteenth century was a time of tremendous growth and change. The new nation experienced a shift from a farming economy to an industrial one, major westward expansion, displacement of native peoples, rapid advances in technology and transportation, and a civil war. In this lesson, works of art from the nineteenth century are paired with written documents, including literary selections, a letter, and a speech. As budding historians, students can use these primary sources from the nineteenth century to reconstruct the influence of technology, geography, economics, and politics on daily life.
Not specifically material culture, but incredible nonetheless:
?Calisphere is a well-organized and attractive Web site that allows the public to access over 150,000 primary sources that were previously dispersed in separate archives. A service of the University of California libraries, it includes a treasure trove of sources from all ten campuses and more than eighty cultural heritage institutions around the state. Conceived as a public gateway to provide educators access to University of California scholarship, the site represents what I hope is a larger trend of universities and colleges considering how to make their resources useful and accessible to K-12 teachers and students. Calisphere provides a good model, with its rich source collection and teacher-friendly organization that also allows easy exploration by scholars and history buffs.? ? From Review in JAH
Web de Anza: http://anza.uoregon.edu/default.html
Remarkable site focusing on Anza?s role in the colonization of Alta California. Loads of documents, maps, and resources, all well presented.
?finally. For an excellent, ongoing set of reviews of history websites, see http://historymatters.gmu.edu/webreviews/