April is national poetry month, and though we don’t see much poetry in today’s newspapers, in the past it was a common feature. In fact, many poets garnered fame and sometimes some funds from having their poems published in newspapers. The Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers database offers a trove of poetry treasures waiting to be discovered.
Invasive species overtake both ecosystems and news headlines. Historical primary sources, such as newspapers from Chronicling America, paired with modern periodicals, reveal how organisms introduced into new ecological contexts can cause unexpected consequences.
On the Library of Congress Web site, Chronicling America provides free access to millions of historic American newspaper pages from 1836-1922. Although the sheer volume of stories might seem daunting, Chronicling America makes it easy to explore the pages.
Rob Williams first used the Library’s digital newspaper collections more than a decade ago as a high-school teacher of U.S. history in Powhatan County, Virginia, near Richmond. Today, he’s a recording artist—he released his third album, “An Hour Before Daylight,” in October. But he still draws inspiration from the same online resources that captivated his history students.
This year marks the centennial anniversary of both the U.S. entry into World War I and the Bolshevik Revolution, the events that led to the fall of Russia’s tsarist government and the eventual birth of the U.S.S.R. By analyzing reports in historic newspapers, students can explore the Great War’s role as a possible catalyst in starting the revolution and U.S. responses to the rise of communism in Russia.
I first stumbled across an image of Tom Wiggins when looking for images of African Americans during the Civil War, but I didn’t pay much attention to him until two days later when I saw the same piece of sheet music displayed at the National Portrait Gallery.
One hundred years ago next month, Alice Burke and Nell Richardson began a journey across the United States to promote women’s right to vote. Following their route can allow students to learn about them and their journey while also revealing more about the suffragist movement and women in the United States a century ago.
Traditions seem everlasting, but primary sources can show how Thanksgiving traditions change over time. Take, for instance, the tradition of the Thanksgiving Maskers in New York City in the late 19th and early 20th century.
In the November/December 2015 issue of Social Education, the journal of the National Council for the Social Studies, our “Sources and Strategies” article focused on analyzing newspapers from the presidential election of 1912, an unusual contest at an unusual time.
Now there’s one especially for working with newspapers. Pair this guide with the printable or online primary source analysis tool to guide students into deeper analysis and reflection of primary sources from the online collections of rich historical primary sources from the Library of Congress.