I’ve just become aware of two amazing resources at the Library of Congress. Or at least I’ve become newly acquainted. The first is a series of primary source sets and the second a especially helpful publication for idea generation, or at least that’s how it works for me.
As many of you probably know, finding primary sources online can be tricky. It isn’t that nothing is available. There is actually quite a bit out there. But finding it when you need it can be another matter altogether. But authors aren’t the only ones looking for primary sources. Teachers realize how primarcy sources can entrance young readers. To help teachers access sources available at the Library, the staff has put together primary source sets ranging from topics as diverse as “found poetry” to “children’s lives at the turn of the twentieth century.”
The first is not a grouping of found poems but resouces that students might use increating their own. The set includes a teacher’s guide as well as a variety of documents such as copies of print documents and photographs. The latter set includes historic photos of children at play, a children’s parade and even a children’s book from the time.
The Library of Congress Magazine is published by-monthly with each issue focusing on a theme such as World War I, Presidential Elections, Photography or Food Collections. The magazine is approximately 32 pages long and a PDF of each issue is available.
Take a look at several issues of this magazine and see if you don’t come away with some new ideas. I paged through the issue on Food Collections and quickly jotted down three book ideas — a cookbook, a food history/cookbook and a biography.
The Library of Congress is both a national treasure and an amazing resource. Take the time to look through some of the educational guides and the magazines. You won’t regret it.