Edgar Allan Poe: Using Primary Sources from the Library of Congress to Deepen Understanding of “The Raven”

Because of his tendency toward the macabre, the stories of Edgar Allan Poe are frequently associated with Halloween, but his writing has had a far deeper reach than connections to the holiday. As National Poetry Month approaches, students can explore his work and its cultural impact through primary sources from the Library of Congress.

Tragedy and Transformation: Looking at San Francisco’s Chinatown with Primary Sources

Much of the city, including its Chinese immigration enclave, Chinatown, was destroyed by tremors and fires. While this was a devastating tragedy, it was also an opportunity to rebuild and renew. Below is a series of photographs from the Library’s Prints and Photographs collections that offers a path for student engagement with San Francisco’s pre- and post-earthquake Chinatown.

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire: Exploring Tragedy and Reform with Primary Sources

On March 25, 1911, a fire swept through the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City, killing 146 men and women, many of them recent immigrants. It was later discovered that the workers faced many obstacles as they tried to flee the fire: Doors were locked by the factory’s management and the fire escapes were inadequate. This catastrophe, which led to a public outcry, prompted updates to labor laws and reforms to fire and safety regulations.

Informational Text: Child Labor Reform Panels and Multimedia in the Early 20th Century

Common Core State Standards and many other standards require that students compare informational texts in different media. However, multimedia texts aren’t limited to the 21st century. In fact, one of the most compelling multimedia campaigns in U.S. history was launched more than one hundred years ago, using paper, glue, and an effective set of persuasive techniques.