As an archivist in the Music Division, I am fortunate to put my hands on historical documents every day for the purpose of eventually putting them into yours, either by showcasing them in person, sharing them through interactive digital exhibits, or indirectly highlighting them by facilitating the scholarship of other patrons.
Arlene Balkansky loves working with the full range of people visiting Newspaper and Current Periodical reading room, whether on-site or remotely: the teenager working on a National History Day project, the family interested in comic books, the university student, the teacher participating in the Library’s Summer Teacher Institute, the genealogist, the professor, the filmmaker, the author, and more.
The Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) Regional program has just awarded a $20,000 grant to the Academy of American Poets to support the addition of resources from the Library's collections to the Academy's Teach This Poem series for the 2019-2020 school year.
In his quest for knowledge, Alexander Graham Bell meticulously documented his experiments through correspondence and journals. Studying these documents can lead to insights into his processes and approaches to recording his work as well as deeper understanding of particular experiments or inventions.
What would it be like to walk city streets without streetlights? or to read a book or do homework by candle light? Elementary students may struggle to understand the many changes that electricity brought about in homes and industry, but focusing on the changes brought by electric lighting may be easier for them.
This process of observing, of reflecting on observations along with prior knowledge, and of generating questions about a primary source is valuable in itself. It also can serve as a springboard into further research.