Here on Minerva’s Kaleidoscope, our goal is to help connect parents and caregivers to the Library and its resources in ways that are relevant. As parents ourselves, we know that many adults are working to make sense of current events with and for the children in their lives. To that end, I am including below a few key resources from the Library that may help to provide context on inaugurations and presidential transitions, and foster conversations on civic engagement:
- Encouraging student-generated primary sources during historic events: This blog post from our colleagues in the Professional Learning and Outreach Initiatives Office links to eyewitness accounts of significant events in American history held in the Library’s collections.
- Interactive activities on Congress, civic participation & primary sources: These online projects help young people learn about Congress and civic participation using primary sources, including Engaging Congress and KidCitizen. They were developed by a number of organizations that received grants from the Library.
For a deeper dive:
- Inaugurations: Stepping into History: This resource set includes presentations and primary sources related to inaugural addresses, the orderly transition of power, the presidential oath of office, and suggested questions to consider.
- Presidential papers: The Library holds the papers of twenty-three presidents from George Washington to Calvin Coolidge, all of which have been digitized and are now available online. These materials include Washington’s first inaugural and farewell addresses and Abraham Lincoln’s first and second inaugural addresses.
- Online exhibitions: The text and items from the Library’s past exhibitions are available in full online. The selected exhibitions here illuminate the process for creating the nation’s founding documents and provide historical context on the building of the Capitol, presidential inaugurations, and the transition of power.
- Creating the United States – includes a set of interactive presentations to explore key phrases in the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights
- Temple of Liberty: Building the Capitol for a New Nation – provides views of the Capitol building and discussion of its political and cultural influence
- I Do Solemnly Swear: Inaugural Materials from the Library of Congress – includes questions and answers on inaugurations for kids and key quotes from past inaugural addresses that illuminate the expectations of the president and presidency