Comprehensive Websites

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Africans in America 

This PBS website is the companion to the documentary on African and African-American history from pre-colonial times to the recent past. The site offers historical resources for this Era and provides annotated images and documents, stories, biographies, and commentaries. The Teacher’s Guide helps you to use the website and TV series in U.S. history courses.

 
 
AMDOCS, Documents for American History 
This site contains primary documents of American history arranged chronologically from the pre-colonial period through the first term presidency of George W. Bush. The site provides evidence from "both sides" of an event, i.e., American and British perspective of the Boston Massacre, American and Native American accounts of westward expansion, Civil War diaries/letters/official documents from North and South, World War I official legislation and executive orders, as well as accounts of isolationists and peace activists and those who wanted to enter into the war. Some of the links on this site are broken and can no longer be used.

 
 
American Memory 
Website for the American Memory Project from the Library of Congress. Materials include various written documents, such as, letters, journal entries, official government publications, newspaper articles and broadsides, still and moving images, maps, lithographs, sheet music, art work, and movies. Spans colonial era to present. There are general topics, such as women’s history, African-American history, etc., that you can browse. On the main website, click on Teachers. These pages provide suggestions on lesson plans and for using primary sources.

 
 
American Music before 1900 
From Kingwood College (TX), this site offers links to various forms of popular music in the United States before 1900. Interesting tunes include those sung by Loyalists, as well as by Patriots during the American Revolution.

 
 
Americas Library 
Americas Library offers animation, audio and video streaming for elementary grades and ideas for lesson plans. Sponsored by the Library of Congress, this site offers mostly secondary sources, timelines, songs, videos, such as one showing coal trains transporting coal to Lake Erie. Most of the primary source documents are too small to download. 

 
 
Avalon Project, Yale University 
Digital primary source documents pertaining to US law, politics, government, diplomacy and history, organized by century for easier search. The site permits use in classroom or on the website but asks that you email the site to let them know you are using it. These documents are downloadable. 

 
 
Best of History Websites 
This site, maintained by Thomas Daccord, a teacher at Noble and Greenough School in Dedham, Massachusetts, provides hyperlinks to useful history websites. Search categories include US, ancient, world, medieval history, art history, etc.

 
 
Congress Link, Dirksen Congressional Center 
Congressional site providing information about the U.S. Congress - how it works, its members and leaders and the public policies it produces. There are sections on political cartoons with lesson plans, a timeline of congressional actions, 1933-2009, how a bill becomes law-one activity uses the theory of vectors to explain this process, a possible cross curricular activity that could be done with mathematics, etc. This site includes a daily blog on the legislation Congress is considering or enacting in the Senate and House of Representatives. 

 
 
Council for Economic Education 
This website has a focus on economic literacy to be taught in schools nationwide k-12, and internationally.  It also serves as a center for educators offering workshops on a variety of topics. 

 
 
David Rumsey Map Collection 
The collection contains more than 28,000 historical maps and images, specializing in rare 18th and 19th North American and South American maps. Images on this site may be used freely for non-commercial purposes. Historic maps of the World, Europe, Asia, and Africa are also represented.

 
 
Digital History, University of Houston 
This site provides primary source evidence from political, religious, military leaders, as well as other, lesser-known participants; government documents, letters, newspapers on colonial settlement, Native Americans, the Revolutionary War, territorial expansion, slavery, the Civil War (official communications, newspapers, and letters from soldiers and families), World War I, World War II, the Cold War, etc. The site provides links to other website sources and model lesson plans. 

 
 
Documenting the American South, UNC 
Takes a Southern perspective on American history with primary source images, prints, texts and photos of the Civil War era. Includes slave narratives and images, literature of the South, Civil War battlefield and military images, culture and domestic life. Images and narratives may be reproduced or quoted for educational purposes, but must be credited as follows: "Used with permission of The University Library, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill."

 
 
Eye Witness to History 
This site uses personal "eyewitness" accounts of events in American history: newspapers, letters, dairies, interviews and images from the 17th through the 20th century. Cites the sources used and provides links to other internet resources. 

 
 
Fordham University
Under there are numerous links to law & legal databases such as the American Bar Association and Lexis-Nexis.

 
 
Geostat Center Historical Census Browser 
The University of Virginia Library offers a digitized collection of U.S. census data on population, agriculture, manufacturing from 1790 to 1960. The site allows you to search for information by census date or category of interest as well as to manipulate the data to examine multiple topics within a given year and create tables and ratios between different data categories. 

 
 
Gilder-Lehrman Institute 
This is a collection of primary sources of US history held by the Gilder Lehrman of American History, founded in 1994. Particular emphasis is on the colonial period, the Revolution, the New Republic, and the Civil War. The site also provides source for writings on American women and secondary source texts and provides a look to the Institute’s gift shop, which contains posters and copies of primary source documents and images for your classroom. The website also offers historian podcasts teachers could use in the classroom. 

 
 
Harper's Weekly 
A good resource for political cartoons from 1857-1912. Search history topics thematically by people, events or places or by date or historic era. Topics include presidential elections, Reconstruction, ethnic/racial discrimination, women, advertising, etc. 

 
 
Historical Text Archive 
Site contains secondary source articles, essays, text from books, some containing primary source text and photographs. Has links to web sites providing primary source material. 

 
 
History Matters 
Maintained by George Mason University, this site has more than a thousand images, documents, and oral history accounts of events in US history. Also, has links to other vetted history websites, including those providing primary sources for political cartoons, advertising and legal proceedings. Also contains web-based lesson plans.

 
 
I Hear America Singing 
Library of Congress database of songs and original song sheets from patriotic, Civil War, and popular American music. Search by songwriter, song title historic era of musical style (jazz, band, spiritual, etc.)  Note that the cover of sheet music can be used for analysis by students. 

 
 
Landmark Cases 
Extensive site offering discussion of the Supreme Court's landmark cases, such as Marbury v. Madison (1803), Tinker v. Des Moines (1969), Brown v. Board of Education (1954), etc. legal terms, as well as teaching guides and strategies. 

 
 
Legal Information Institute, Cornell University 
Site has US Constitution and all of the state constitutions. Provides original constitutional documents and timeline of amendments and revisions. Also has information on the history, structure and actions of states’ legislative and judicial bodies. 

 
 
Modern History Sourcebook 
Contains a rich set of primary source documents, newspapers, periodicals, images, maps, and other sources pertaining to both US and global history. 

 
 
National Women's History Museum 
This website provides a comprehensive look at women's history with a focus on suffrage, sports, and industry. Lesson plans for teaching suffrage, women’s social, economic, political and military roles are also available.

 
 
Our Documents 
Sponsored by National History Day, the National Archives, and the USA Freedom Corps to publish and discuss 100 significant documents in US history.  The site also provides activities for ways in which these documents can be integrated into classroom teaching.

 
 
Oyez Project, the Supreme Court 
Past and pending cases before the Supreme Court. You can search by issue or term of the Court. Also provides a virtual tour of the US Supreme Court and images of justices past and present.

 
 
PBS 
Primary and secondary resource material from PBS documentaries, including popular programs like Africans in America and The West. Sources for PBS documentaries and how to use them in classroom lesson plans are also available.

 
 
Scriptorium, Duke University 
Maintained by Duke University libraries, this site explores advertising media from 1911-1955. It provides a look at popular culture through images in magazine and newspaper advertisements focusing on the themes of hygiene and beauty, radio, television, transportation and World War II. Helpful as a tool in looking at the way women and families were portrayed, advances in technology and transportation, and WWII propaganda. 

 
 
Smithsonian Institution and National Museum of American History 
These websites have recently been updated and users can use the Smithsonian Explorer link to do a keyword search to find primary and secondary sources, images, exhibits from the Smithsonian and lesson plan suggestions. Also provides correlating National History standards. 

 
 
The National Archives 
Web site for National Archives and Records Administration. The site contains prints, photos, government documents, veterans’ service records, poetry, newspapers, etc., in all eras of American history. The site also contains lesson plans and primary source analysis forms with questions that will help your students scaffold their thinking from description to analysis and interpretation. 

 
 
The West 
Companion site for the PBS documentary from Ken Burns. Contains secondary and primary sources on people, places and events in The West, from pre-1500- to the early 20th century, including images of Custer’s 1874 Black Hills expedition, American Indian leaders and people, buffalo hides drawings, and natural landscape of the West.

 
 
University of Oklahoma Law School, Government Documents 
Maintained by the University of Oklahoma providing US government documents from the colonial era (also the Magna Carta and a letter from Columbus to Queen Isabella) through the 21st century in chronological order, including the Mayflower Compact, colonial charters, the Federalist Papers, treaties, acts of legislation and presidential speeches and inaugural addresses, and musical lyrics. 

 
 
Virginia Center for Digital History 
Primary source images, documents, including runaway slave advertisements form “The Geography of Slavery” collection and "teaching tips" for integrating these sources into lesson plans. Site is chronologically arranged using many documents in the public domain. Has a link to the "Valley of the Shadow" project at UVA (listed in the "Freedom Tested: 1860 to 1877").
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