The Horn Book’s Virtual History Exhibit

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.


Filed under History

3 responses to “The Horn Book’s Virtual History Exhibit

  1. Rey

    I agree, I have a degree in social studies teaching, but I now work in the youth dept. at a library. Sometimes I wish we could just do away with textbooks, and use primary sources and different secondary sources to teach. Primary sources seem much more powerful when illustrating a point in history.


  2. Clare

    Thanks Monica, I just spent a lovely half hour reading all the letters. I loved Susan Cooper’s, especially since a) I think her writing is brilliant, and b) I’m a copyeditor. Obviously she needs no help from me!


  3. Lee

    I think it’s terrific that you teach with primary sources. I suspect a lot of kids don’t even know they exist – a bit like milk that actually comes from the udder.


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