What We’re Reading: October 1, 2009 Edition
New this week, some Iowa history classrooms are embracing primary resources over textbooks, a British man and his metal detector unearth seventh-century treasures, the Gilder Lehrman Institute releases an issue of History Now on the American Revolution, the National Security Archive joins Facebook, and Google Books features every issue of LIFE ever published. Then, we bring you two articles on NARA: one on NARA’s proposal (and request for public comments) to issue researcher ID cards, and the other on NARA documents on Footnote.com.
Finally, for fun, check out a database of historic bridges, a “virtual postcard tour of Algiers,” and a look at some National Park posters.
- History Class Dumps Textbooks, Gets Personal
With the financial backing of a $1.5 million Teaching American History grant, three Iowa high schools have decided to implement primary accounts and sources rather than traditional pedagogy centering on textbooks and lectures. Stefanie Rosenberg-Cortés, one of the participating teachers, believes that this new teaching approach allows students to delve into original documents and firsthand accounts, not simply read historical concepts from a book.
- Experts Awed by Anglo-Saxon Treasure
A man in Staffordshire, England has unearthed treasures from the seventh-century in a farmer’s field, with the help of his metal detector. Researchers are calling it “one of the most important [finds] in British archaeological history“ and it has been valued at about $1.6 million.
- History Now – The American Revolution
The Gilder Lehrman Institute has released the twenty-first issue of History Now. Articles in this issue focus on the American Revolution, and have titles like “Lockean Liberalism and the American Revolution,” “Women and Wagoners: Camp Followers in the American War for Independence,” and “Teaching the Revolution.”
- New Facebook Page Features Archive’s Top Ten Declassified Documents
The National Security Archive created its own Facebook page this month. One of its features is an album of the “Top 10 Declassified Documents,” including “a top-secret strategy paper for fighting al-Qaeda given to the Bush White House on January 25, 2001; a CIA report on using cats with surgically implanted listening devices to spy on Russian embassies; and records from the FBI interrogations of Saddam Hussein.”
- LIFE magazine on Google Books
Want to peruse an issue of LIFE magazine? Google Books has every issue ever created. Hat tip.
- NARA Proposes New Researcher ID Cards
The National Coalition for History reports on a new proposal from NARA to require researchers to have a special researcher identification card. NARA is looking for public input on this proposal and will accept comments until November 24, 2009.
- Free NARA Documents on Footnote.com
NARA’s blog highlights the availability of NARA documents on Footnote.com. These documents are free to look at as long as you are in a research room in a NARA location.
- Historic Bridges of the U.S.
Check out “a database of 32,495 historic bridges in the United States of America, past and present.” Hat tip.
- A virtual postcard tour of Algiers
The Flickr blog culls the Getty Research Institute’s photostream and creates a “virtual postcard tour of Algiers.”
- National Parks Travel Posters, Resurrected
Volunteer Park Ranger Doug Leen recreates some classic National Park Service posters. Read also an interview with him. Hat tip.
Contributors: Elisabeth Grant, Arnita A. Jones, Jessica Pritchard, and Robert B. Townsend
This post first appeared on AHA Today.
Please read our commenting and letters policy before submitting.