February 18, 2021

Collection Spotlight: African American Perspectives

"African American Perspectives" gives a panoramic and eclectic review of African American history and culture and is primarily comprised of two collections in the Rare Book and Special Collections Division: the African American Pamphlet Collection and the Daniel A.P. Murray Collection with a date range of 1822 through 1909. Most were written by African-American authors, though some were written by others on topics of particular importance in African-American history. Among the authors … [Read more...]

Primary Source Learning: U.S. Electoral College

Background & context The Electoral College – What Is It and How Does It Function? In Custodia Legis November 6, 2012 Electoral College Fast Facts US House of Representatives History, Art & Archives The Electoral College National Archives The Electoral College National Conference of State Legislators Research Guide: The Law of the Electoral College Contemporary articles Congress and the Case of the Faithless Elector History November 17, 2020, US House of … [Read more...]

Primary Source Learning: LOC.gov Teacher-Created Lesson Plans

The Teacher's section on LOC.gov features close to 100 teacher-created lesson plans. As you can see from the image above, lesson plans are listed in alphabetical order and there is a handy search bar to help you easily conduct a keyword search. Use the links below to jump to select groupings of the LOC.gov lesson plans and related PSN teaching resources. All lesson plans Lesson plans by grade level Elementary: Grades 3-5 Middle School: Grades 6-8 High school: Grades … [Read more...]

Guided Primary Source Analysis: Does Your Vote for President Count?

Work in a group to discuss what you can learn from this historical newspaper article (download .pdf) just by examining the headline, illustrations, the introduction (the first three paragraphs), and the section headers. What questions do you still have? Divide the reading of the article among your group members so that each reads 2 or 3 of the 9 sections, then discuss what you've read to answer the questions below. What was the main point of each section? How does each section relate … [Read more...]

Timely Connections: State of the Union as Civic Learning Opportunity

The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) has put together a list of resources for educators to help students understand, analyze, and respond to the upcoming State of the Union. The resources are divided into sections that include the following: Youth Perspectives, the Speech and Its Media Coverage, and Background Lessons. Check out this excellent list along with resources from the Primary Source Nexus and the Library of Congress. Using the State of … [Read more...]

Timely Connections: For the People Act

H.R.1 - For the People Act of 2019 was introduced into the House of Representatives on January 3, 2019 by Rep. John P. Sarbanes, [D-MD-3] and has well over 200 Democrat co-sponsors. INVESTIGATE Scan the legislation and consider the questions below. What main sections are contained in the text of H.R.1 - For the People Act of 2019? What actions have been taken on the legislation? What committees are reviewing the legislation? Which aspects of the legislation are under the … [Read more...]

Today in History: Compromise of 1850

Today in History–September 20–the Library of Congress features the abolishment of the slave trade in Washington D.C., which was a feature of a legislative package known as the Compromise of 1850. Learn more by reading the Today in History section, then clicking the links below to access related primary & secondary sources. Compromise of 1850: American Treasures of the Library of Congress Compromise of 1850 timeline and select documents January 29, 1850 : Senator Henry Clay … [Read more...]

Primary Source Learning: U.S. Constitution

Constitution Annotated analysis & interpretation of the U.S. Constitution Primary source lesson plans & activities American Memory Timeline: Primary Source Excerpts and Discussion Questions Related to the Constitution The Constitution: Counter Revolution or National Salvation? The Constitution: Drafting a More Perfect Union Encouraging Student Understanding of Negotiation and the Value of Notetaking during the 1787 Constitutional Convention Teaching with the Library of … [Read more...]

Guided Primary Source Analysis: Presenting Party Platforms

Zoom into this 1888 presidential election document online or in a .pdf document. Look closely at the graphical elements of the complete document and compare and contrast the presentation of information in the Harrison and Cleveland maps. Which is more pleasing visually and why? How does the visual presentation affect the tone of each map? Describe your findings using specific details from the maps to support your conclusions. Now compare and contrast the textual information presented on each … [Read more...]

Primary Source Learning: U.S. Presidents

Learning from the Source: lessons Abraham Lincoln & Me Primary Source Activity Book The Art of Mourning (Lincoln) Monumental Men Mourning Lincoln & the Art of Tribute Presidential Portraits Indian Territory Resettlement Guided primary source analysis activities A Plan of My Farm (Washington) Jefferson’s Pasta Machine Abolition frowned down (Quincy Adams) Rats Leaving a Falling House (Van Buren) Footrace, Pennsylvania Avenue (Tyler & Polk) … [Read more...]