Your Students Can Help Archive the Internet – Apply Now!

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.

Five Questions with Karen Lloyd, Director of the Library of Congress Veterans History Project

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.

Five Questions with Gary Johnson, Reference Librarian, Library of Congress Newspaper and Current Periodical Reading Room

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 […]

Reconstructing a Civil War Battle from a Poet’s Letter Home

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.

Five Questions with Margaret Wagner, Senior Writer and Editor, Library of Congress Publishing Office

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.

Do Your Best and Remember . . .

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.)