Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Explore the Library of Congress on Your iPad

The Library of Congress Collections app is a free iPad app that offers a nice way for students and teachers to explore collections of artifacts housed by the Library of Congress. The collections available through the app are also available directly on the LOC website. The benefit of viewing them in the app is ability to smoothly pinch and zoom on documents, maps, and images. The app also offers collections that contain audio and video recordings.

The LOC Collections app lets you browse and search through collections of artifacts covering a wide range of topics in U.S. History. When you do find an artifact that you like and want to save for future reference you can add it to your favorites within the app. Additionally, many items found in the app can be shared to other apps like OneNote, Google Drive, and Box that you might already have on your iPad.

LOC Collections is only available for iOS at this time. An email that I received from the Library of Congress stated that an Android version of the app will be available later this year.

Applications for Education
The LOC Collections app could be a great resource for students who are researching a specific topic in U.S. History and need to consult some primary sources. For example, there is an entire collection of "man on the street" audio recordings of interviews done with Americans immediately after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Listening to those interviews could give students a better understanding of how Americans felt in 1941.

The LOC Collections app could also be a good resource to have students explore to find a topic that they want to research in more depth. Just browsing through the list of collections could spark some curiosity and introduce students to topics they might not have thought about or even heard about.

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