Showing posts with label digital archives. Show all posts
Showing posts with label digital archives. Show all posts

Monday, October 11, 2021

Transcribing Early Copyright Applications

By the People is the Library of Congress project that was formerly known as the Crowd project. The name changed at some point in the last year, but the purpose of the project remains the same. That purpose is to enlist the help of the public to transcribe historical documents housed the by the Library of Congress. Over the years hundreds of thousands of documents related to the American Civil War, baseball, and Women's Suffrage have been transcribed through the By the People project. There are still transcription projects running for documents from presidential collections and the Civil Rights Movement. American Creativity: Early Copyright Title Pages is the latest collection of documents available for viewing and transcribing in the By the People project. 

American Creativity: Early Copyright Title Pages contains hundreds of thousands of title pages from publications submitted to federal courts for copyright protection between 1790 and 1870. As I just learned from reading about the project, until 1870 the process for copyright protecting a work required authors to submit an application, a fee, and a copy of the title page of their work at their local federal court. American Creativity: Early Copyright Title Pages is organized according to decade. You're free to browse through the titles, download covers, and contribute to the transcription. I found it fun to browse and just look at some of the titles and topics that were "trending" in different decades. 

Applications for Education
As I've written in the past, the By the People project can be a good opportunity for high school students and some middle school students to learn while contributing to a national project. All of the collections in By the People do have timelines and some other resources that help to provide context for the documents that are in need of transcription.

The Smithsonian has a similar crowdsourcing project called Smithsonian Digital Volunteers. In this short video I demonstrate and explain how you and your students can participate in the projects.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Three Ideas for Encouraging Students to do Research in Digital Archives

Yesterday morning I wrote about the challenge of getting students to use resources like academic databases and digital archives in their research. This morning I received an email from a reader who asked if I could share an example or ideas of how to encourage students to use digital archives in their research. The following are three suggestions that quickly came to my mind. 

Show Them
A simple way to encourage use of academic databases and digital archives is by showing them how to navigate those resources. For many students the obstacle to using academic databases and digital archives is simply the frustration that they experience when “it doesn’t work like Google.”

Challenge Them
A fun and effective way to encourage students to use academic databases and digital archives is to have them solve search challenges that are based upon items found in the digital archive or academic database of your choosing. When it comes to creating search challenges there is no better authority on the topic than Daniel Russell. He is the the author of The Joy of Search and Google’s Senior Research Scientist for Search Quality and User Happiness. His book and corresponding blog, SearchResearch, is full of examples of using interesting images and factoids as prompts for research practice challenges. Included below is an example of a search challenge that I created for students studying local history in Maine.

            The Prompt: Everyone knows that Hannibal Hamlin (Abraham Lincoln’s first Vice President) lived on Paris Hill in Maine. What you might not know is that Paris Hill was the home of another person who participated in a notable first.

        Your challenge has three parts:
  • Identify the significance of the airplane pictured below.
  • What is the connection between the airplane and Paris Hill?
  • Find out what kind of car was driven by the person who represents the connection between the airplane and Paris Hill.
        Hints:
  • Make or find a list of all of the people who flew on this airplane.
  • Utilize resources on the Maine Memory Network website to attempt to identify the type of car driven by the person who represents the connection between the airplane and Paris Hill.

Require Them
A third tactic to encourage students to utilize an academic database or digital archive in their research processes is to make it a requirement in the assignments that you give them. When they produce the bibliography for their research papers and presentations, make it a requirement that at least one or more references are drawn from one of the databases or archives that you’ve listed for them. While this can be an effective method of getting students to use academic databases, it’s not nearly as fun for you or them as solving search challenges. Try the search challenge approach first.


Want the answers? If you're interested in the answers to this challenge, please send me an email and I'll be happy to share them with you. 

Image source: Public Domain image hosted on Wikipedia. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:StateLibQld_1_139254_Landing_the_aircraft,_Southern_Cross_in_Brisbane,_Queensland,_ca._1928.jpg

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Create Multimedia History Presentations With Digital Artifacts

The National Archives Experience Digital Vaults is one of the resources that I almost always share in my workshop on teaching history with technology primary sources. The Digital Vaults offers three good tools that students and teachers can use to create content using images and documents from the National Archives.

The National Archives Digital Vault poster and video creation tools allow students to drag and drop digital artifacts into a poster or video. The National Archives provides images, documents, and audio in an easy to use editor. When making a poster students can combine multiple images, change background colors, and create captions to make collages of digital artifacts. See the screen capture below for a demonstration of poster editing.

Creating a video is just as easy as creating a poster in the Digital Vaults. To create a video simply drag your selected images on to the editing templates, type image captions, select the duration of display for each image, and select audio tracks. See the screen capture below for a look at the video editor.

Applications for Education
The Pathways tool in the Digital Vaults can be used to create small quizzes that ask students to identify the connections between two or more images or documents. To start, drag one image to you Pathways menu then select a related item to add to your Pathway. Type in a clue for students to use to help them make the connection. When you share your Pathway with others, they will see only your first image and your connection clue, they have to find the image that connects. Take a look at a sample Pathways challenge here.

Please note that the Digital Vaults website loads a lot of media when you visit it for the first time. Give it ten seconds or so to load everything before you start to create and investigate. It also helps to be using an updated browser (Chrome or Firefox are best). 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Three Ring Adds New Features for Sharing Students' Digitized Work With Parents

Three Ring is a free iOS and Android app that launched in March. The app makes it easy to digitize and catalog your students' drawn and handwritten work. Today, Three Ring released a new option to share digitized works with students and their parents. To share an artifact with students and their parents just choose the artifact from your list then click the share button to send that artifact in an email.

Learn more about Three Ring in the video below.

Applications for Education
Three Ring provides a great way for teachers whose students produce a lot of handwritten, drawn, and hand-built work. Last week I was in an elementary school that had some first grade students' artwork on display. Three Ring could be used by the teachers of those students to create a digital record of each student's work. Three Ring is also useful for mathematics teachers whose students do a lot of work on paper rather than typing as they solve problems.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

US National Archives Gallery of The Way We Worked

The Way We Worked is a small collection of images from the U.S. National Archives. The collection is designed to show the way that work evolved over the 130 year span from 1857 to 1987. The collection is divided into five parts; How We Worked, What We Wore to Work, Where We Worked, Dangerous and Unhealthy Work, and Conflict at Work. There is a short silent film of people at work in various occupations to introduce the galleries.

Applications for Education
The Way We Worked could be a good resource to use as part of lesson on the history labor and labor rights in the United States. Put some of the images into a slideshow to spark discussion and inquiry about the types of jobs blue collar workers have done over the years. Have students go through the galleries on their own and identify jobs that no longer exist. Then ask them to identify jobs that exist today that might not exist fifty years from now.

The Way We Worked images are public domain images that could be used by students as part of multimedia project like those found in the National Archives' Digital Vaults.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Great Free Summer PD from C-SPAN Classroom

I just received an email from C-SPAN reminding me of a great free PD opportunity that they offer for teachers in the U.S. during the summer.  The Summer Educators' Conference is a free event happens on July 12 and 13 in Washington, D.C. You do have to apply to participate. If accepted, C-SPAN covers all costs of attendance including airfare and lodging. The focus of the conference is on using C-SPAN's vast digital archives to develop lessons for social studies. You can find all of the details including the application, here.