I love, love, love primary sources. To me the best way to teach history, to make it come alive, to take students back in time is with primary sources. And so I’ve been delighted as more and more primary sources become available online.
My first encounter with this sort of virtual history was at the Library of Congress in 1997 where I worked with a colleague to develop a lesson using material from their then new American Memory digital library. A few years later I featured that site and many others in a CD that accompanied my book on teaching with primary sources.
And now we’ve got the latest in primary source history — The Horn Book’s online exhibit. I love it! Seeing actual letters to the editor from luminaries like Beatrix Potter or a battle royal in letters between Roald Dahl and Eleanor Cameron is really wonderful. There’s a whole scrapbook of stuff to look through and tons more. Highly, highly recommended for anyone interested in the history of children’s literature in America.