The Primary Source Librarian

Dedicated to Excellence in Teaching with Primary Sources

Windmills or Wind Turbines? A Portuguese Metaphor

| June 18, 2012

Since I started a consulting job with the Library of Congress in late March, I’ve led a whirlwind life, complete with a previously planned two-week trip to Portugal and Spain, a two-day Teaching with Primary Sources Consortium meeting in Washington, a week-long Summer Teacher Institute at the Library of Congress, meetings, gallery openings, graduations, and […]

Local Communities Raise Funds to Digitize Newspapers (and a Mystery)

| August 1, 2009

Jim Duncan, Director of the Networking & Resource Sharing Unit of the Colorado State Library, has written a great article about the progress and plans of Colorado’s Historic Newspaper Collection. Like digitization projects everywhere, Colorado’s Historic Newspaper Collection (CHNC) is moving and changing with the times. Every such project has to look at the sustainability […]

Chronicling America – Short Version

| July 16, 2009

In my last post, I suggested that summer vacation is a great time to explore primary source collections for fun and personal learning. You deserve a break from the pressure to write perfect lesson plans complete with assessments that meet content standards, AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner, ISTE NETS standards, and so on! […]

World Digital Library – Short Version

| June 20, 2009

After two months of neglecting this blog, the Primary Source Librarian cannot come up with any more excuses! Granted, I did travel in northern Spain for nearly a month, but I’ve already been back for several weeks. I have caught up on email and online banking, changed out my cable modem, set up a new […]

Special Collections of Note

| March 11, 2009

I loved this article–Libraries’ Surprising Special Collections–from Smithsonian.com author Kristin Ohlson. In the article, Ohlson highlights eight libraries that hold special collections of such variety and richness that they hint at hundreds more yet to be discovered by amateurs like me. A chess collection at the John Griswold White Reading Room in Cleveland. Over 30,000 […]

Shmoop to the Rescue!

| December 11, 2008

I just discovered another strangely-named website that history and literature teachers may find amazingly helpful. It’s called “Shmoop.” Shmoop (still in beta) explains its purpose here: “Shmoop wants to help you become a better lover (of literature and history). See many sides to the argument. Find your writing groove. Understand how lit and history are […]

Now Online! Life Photo Archive

| November 24, 2008

Just in case my readers have not seen the announcement about the new Life Photo Archive, I want to invite you to have a look. More than 10 million historic images have been made available through Google’s hosted image service. They include not only some of the most famous icons of the 20th century, but […]

Finding Films

| June 4, 2008

While working on a chapter on teaching with primary source sound and film for the book I’m writing, I discovered the Web site of the National Film Preservation Foundation. The non-profit NFPF has been supporting film preservation for about ten years, and in 2007 it started giving out grants to help libraries, museums, and archives […]

The People You Meet

| March 9, 2008

I was in Santa Fe over the weekend for a New Mexico Landscape Paintings opening at Manitou Galleries. Although most of the conversations naturally focused on the art and the artists in the gallery, a few people asked me politely what I do (beyond my role as “artist’s wife”). As always, I noticed that some […]

Running for Office

| February 17, 2008

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has a great new online exhibit called Running for Office: Candidates, Campaigns, and the Cartoons of Clifford Berryman. Given the interest of young people in the current presidential campaigns, this exhibit comes at just the right time. Fifty-two early 20th century political cartoons drawn by Clifford Berryman have […]