The Primary Source Librarian

Dedicated to Excellence in Teaching with Primary Sources

National Endowment for the Humanities Funds Primary Source Projects

| January 17, 2008

Since I began working on another book, this blog has suffered. I do apologize for that, but deadlines now control my life! Fortunately, I’ve also discovered some great primary source collections in my research for the book. I’ve learned that the National Endowment for the Humanities has supported a number of digitization initiatives that are […]

Looking East

| January 1, 2008

Today’s New York Times had an article by Roberta Hershenson about some extraordinary family photograph albums discovered in 2004 by the 21-year-old great great grandson of the photographer. In fact, when Harry Fowler Woods took the nearly 1,000 photographs in 1905, he was part of an important but underreported diplomatic tour to Hawaii, The Philippines, […]

Back from AASL

| October 31, 2007

I’ve almost finished sorting through the piles of conference materials that made the luggage cut instead of ending up in the hotel waste basket. Since my main reason for attending the AASL conference in Reno was to learn more about Web 2.0 tools and thinking, I have quite a list of ideas to explore from […]

Primary Source Enthusiasts

| October 7, 2007

Several weeks ago, I met a history professor from Colorado College who told me, “I meet a lot of people, but it’s not very often that I meet a primary source enthusiast.” I felt an instant bond. Even in workshops that I conduct on how to teach with primary sources in the classroom, I can […]

Artists on Vacation

| July 21, 2007

An entertaining online exhibit from the Smithsonian Archives of American Art has real potential for a back-to-school primary source introduction. It’s called “Wish You Were Here: Artists on Vacation,” and it has some delightful examples of primary sources produced by well-known American artists from the mid-1800s to about 1970. As stated in the introduction, “Like […]

Homestead Heritage Center Follow-up

| June 4, 2007

When I wrote the Homestead Heritage Center blog post, I had to rely on memory for the parts from the Nebraska Public Radio (NET Radio) report, which means there’s a good chance some of my “facts” were shaky at best. Jerry Johnston, the NET Radio announcer/producer for the piece, kindly sent me the broadcast file, […]

Homestead Heritage Center

| June 2, 2007

Today I found myself driving west through Nebraska on I-80 (long story), listening to Nebraska Public Radio, marveling at the sea of gracefully waving grasses, and wondering how close the flooded Platte River would come to the Interstate. My ears perked up when I heard a radio report on the Homestead Act and learned that […]

[email protected]

| May 12, 2007

A few days ago, I drove to Denver (about 70 miles away) for a reception/celebration for the newly merged [email protected] When I tried to explain to friends just what this trip was all about, it was tough to avoid the many acronyms that have become a part of my life over the past several years. […]

The Accidental Map Librarian

| March 31, 2007

Last week I attended an excellent day-long workshop called “The Accidental Map Librarian” in Boulder, Colorado. The Center for British and Irish Studies on the fifth floor of the University of Colorado Norlin Library where the workshop took place seemed a fitting, elegant space for a map workshop. The presenters were young, energetic, and knowledgeable […]

If a tree falls in a forest…

| March 18, 2007

We’ve all heard variations on the philosophical riddle, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” In other words, can something exist without being perceived? Likewise, if a primary source (letter, document, map, film, sound recording, artifact) is never digitized and no one […]