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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Using the Library of Congress in Your Classroom

I recently took a trip to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. and it was well worth the trip!  I went with my friend, Andrea, from One Teacher's Take.  We preregistered online and got our official "Researchers card" that allows us into parts of the LOC that aren't open to general public.  We got to see and learn from the wealth of primary and secondary sources house at the LOC.

While I can't share many of the images we got to see, I can share the research databases that I used while there.  I'd like to give a big shout out to the extremely friendly and knowledgeable staff at the LOC.  The following sites were shared with me during our visit by the staff.

The first is the America; History and Life database.  This research site allows you to search journals dating back 55 years by theme, reviews, and author.  We searched for the influence of the Scots-Irish on the culture of Virginia.

The second is the Internet Archive Database.  This site offers thousands of primary and secondary sources in digital, audio (including e-books and songs), movies/clips, and much, much more.  You can sort by the media type and title of the source you're looking for.  Many of them are offered as downloadable PDFs or available to read online.

 I used it to find the elusive resources for the Virginia state-recognized tribes.  I found this great downloadable PDF on the Rappahannock Indians.  The entire book is on there with some great photos and primary sources.

 Since this was created in 1925, I can't share the wonderful pics that are included in the book, but you should definitely go to the database and search for it if you teach Virginia's state-recognized tribes.

Do you have any great databases you use to find great primary or secondary resources?

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