Reintroducing the Library of Congress to Teachers

Teachers study historic maps in a Library of Congress Summer Teacher Institute

Teachers study historic maps in a Library of Congress Summer Teacher Institute

As teachers and librarians return to their schools and prepare for a new year, we’d like to take the opportunity to reintroduce ourselves, and to remind you of all that the Library offers to teachers. The primary sources teachers need, all for free. The Library of Congress is not only a great library–it’s also one of the world’s richest destinations for educators seeking primary sources. The Library’s online collections contain more than 30 million digitized historical artifacts and documents, spanning centuries of human history and crossing all disciplines. They’re all available to everyone for free, with no subscription and no login, at Teacher tools and professional development supporting the use of primary sources. Primary sources have a unique educational power. When used effectively, they can engage students, build their critical thinking skills, and support them as they construct new knowledge. The Library’s Web site for teachers offers ready-made lesson plans, primary source sets, and primary source analysis tools, as well as online professional development and information on our summer teacher programs.

The Teaching with the Library of Congress blog: Every week, our blog highlights powerful primary sources from the Library’s collections and showcases new tools and teaching strategies. Search our archive for a trove of posts exploring different aspects of teaching with primary sources, from selection to observation and analysis.

@TeachingLC: The Library’s Twitter feed for educators brings you timely primary sources and teaching ideas, as well as the latest news about our programs and activities. Follow us and tweet at us–we love to hear about ways we can help.

This school year is going to be an exciting one for the Library, as we expand our science offerings, launch Civil War and Civil Rights resources, add new functionality to our online collections, and branch out into new forms of online professional development. Watch our social media channels for the latest, and we look forward to hearing from you.

 Coming to NCSS with Information That Will Amaze Your Students

Tammie Nelson of the Library of Congress is the IT manager of, the source for U.S. legislative information. As part of my job, I read all of the comments that come to the Library about our online legislative information.  My favorite comment is this one, submitted on February 25, 2011: “I am in 8th […]

Keeping Track of Your Online Resources: Changes to American Memory and

Curating. Collecting. Pinning. Cutting and pasting. Bookmarking. Gathering links. We all have our own methods for keeping track of the resources we find online and want to save for later. Sharing and updating these personal curation strategies is especially important given the ever-shifting nature of the Web, and the need to keep up with sites […]

What’s Happening in Science Education

This post was written by Library of Congress science and technology specialist Jennifer Harbster, and was originally published on the Library’s science, technology, and business blog Inside Adams. For teacher resources on teaching with the Library’s primary source collections, visit our Teachers page. Have you ever wondered, “is it really possible to fry an egg […]

Civil War Portraits from the Liljenquist Family Collection: A New Teacher Primary Source Set of Photographs from the Library of Congress

A drummer boy gazes solemnly into the camera. Two soldiers clown around with cigars. A girl in a mourning dress holds a photo of her father in uniform.

The Civil War was the most photographed war of its era, and the Library’s new primary source set, “Civil War Soldiers’ Portraits: The Liljenquist Family Collection,” brings students face to face with some of the men and boys who fought in the Civil War.