Beginning with a pilot program in 2008, the K-12 Web Archiving Program has engaged hundreds of middle and high school students from schools around the United States in selecting, describing, and preserving Web content. Through September 17, the program is accepting applications for new and returning partners from middle and high schools.
Screenshot of the K12 Web Archiving Collection Access Page
Participating in saving history and culture offers those students a unique perspective on how history is recorded. Students identify websites to be archived, sort them into collections, and write metadata to describe the sites and provide context to help future scholars understand the importance of the archived sites.
While schools organize participation in many ways – for example, through the library, as part of a class, or as an extra-curricular club – the teachers and school librarians who facilitate the programs reliably find that students develop critical thinking skills, learn to work collaboratively, and deepen their understanding of historical thinking strategies, including reading primary sources in context, and recognizing inherent perspective and bias.
At the end of the program year, students consistently report an increased awareness and understanding of how the websites they select and preserve will be primary sources for future historians. Many students commented that they were surprised to learn how quickly websites can change or disappear; others enjoyed the freedom to make selections; still others noted both the challenges and the value of being allowed to select what to archive.
Read additional responses from students and teachers who participated in the program:
Access the application here.
I am the Director of the Veterans History Project, part of the American Folklife Center, at the Library of Congress. VHP’s mission is to gather the oral histories of veterans and ensure they are accessible so current researchers and future generations understand what they saw, did and felt during their selfless service to our nation.
This post is by Gary Johnson of the Library of Congress. Describe what you do at the Library of Congress and the materials you work with. As a reference librarian in the Newspaper & Current Periodical Reading Room my basic functions are to answer questions about and provide access to the Library’s collection of serials […]
Though away from home, the members of the Colony celebrated Independence Day. The picture below shows the Colony’s pageant at the start of the 20th century.
In the May/June 2017 issue of Social Education, the journal of the National Council for the Social Studies, our “Sources and Strategies” article features a letter that Walt Whitman wrote to his mother on December 29, 1862. Whitman wrote the letter to let his mother know that he had found his brother George alive and healing from an injury sustained during the Battle of Fredericksburg.
As my job title indicates, I both edit the work of authors who publish works under the Library’s aegis and write books and other materials. My most recent writing project is America and the Great War: A Library of Congress Illustrated History, published on May 30, 2017, by Bloomsbury Press, in cooperation with the Library.
I would invite all teachers to introduce their students to the Library’s Web site with creative assignments. These assignments may encourage the exploration of the stories of generations past with a search through the online resources on LC’s site.
In a previous blog post we discussed the history of Mother’s Day, but several of us on the blog team wondered about the origins of Father’s Day. We were surprised to find out that Father’s Day was not officially celebrated nationally until 1966 when Public Law 89-450 was enacted. This law only covered 1966. It […]
I left New Jersey with good wishes, lots of hugs, and a few tears. When I got to Washington, DC, I was welcomed by the Educational Outreach staff of the Library of Congress with a mutual eagerness to collaborate and a personal hope that my contributions could affect educators.
My son is graduating from high school this coming weekend and I am feeling mixed emotions.
On the one hand, I am proud, excited, and looking forward to what the future holds. On the other hand, I feel the winds of change, and with them a bit of sadness and apprehension about what lies ahead.
At times like this, I take comfort in knowing that I am not the first person to feel this way. Connecting with primary sources always helps. (Seriously, it does.)