Exhibits as Primary Sources
Some of the exhibits described here are virtual in that they exist only on Web pages and some are real in that the Web page is a "photo" of an exhibit in a real museum. We call them exhibits because they are static. They were selected to reflect the diversity of history.
This is the story of the Battle of Hastings that was fought on the 14th October 1066. The site consists of 95,000 words, over 300 graphics and photographs, many maps and diagrams, and interactive timelines.
At home in the Heartland is a wonderful online exhibit, integrating historical artifacts in U.S. history with maps and timelines among other data types. The look and feel of the site demonstrates how historians work and this excitement will be conveyed to your students. The teacher's resources, including clues to the past, are well-done.
At the San Francisco Museum's Gold Rush exhibit are artifacts and letters of advice from the miners' wives.
The Japanese American National Museum can be used to promote understanding and appreciation of America's ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Japanese American experience.
While much of the content of the Mariner site in Newport News, Virginia, is about the physical museum itself, it also offers interesting links to the world's explorers and the ships that carried them. For a fee advanced students can access special collections and rare documents. Might be fun to consider one research project, using this capability so students can have a taste of research processes they will encounter in college.
Another site for sailors, the Mary Rose, includes audio of crew members' talk on this Henry VIII warship, sunk in 1545.
New Deal is maintained by the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute. A full document and photo gallery about the TVA - electrifying America - has been digitized.
The National Trust introduces students to another variant of primary sources, historical landmarks. Students can complete fun quizzes, such as selecting items which do not belong in a photo of an historical setting.
This archived web site provides a fascinating look at the kings Of ancient Egypt.
The Palace of Versailles includes a wide variety of on-line resources, including virtual exhibitions and 3D / 360 degree views of the palace and it's treasures.
This site is an Oral History of Rhode Island Women during World War II, compiled by students in the Honors English Program at South Kingstown High School in the Spring of 1989.
The Peabody Museum hosts a number of on-line exhibitions, including ones on how students lived at colonial Harvard, how 1870s photographs of Japanese people and scenes - created as tourist souvenirs - were collected by scientists, how Katsina dolls were viewed as rainmakers the Hopi tradition, and a fun look at footwear across cultures.
The Museum of World War II site is composed of memorabilia, collected by 1 soldier. The display illustrates how the war and home fronts seemed juxtaposed in his mind, an example for students preparing their own virtual exhibits.
Portsmouth's D-Day Museum is Britain's only museum dedicated solely to covering all aspects of the D-Day landings in Normandy, France, on 6 June 1944. Currently going thru a redesign to reach a 21st century audience, it includes a wide variety of first hand accounts.
The National Cowboy Museum displays Western Heritage topics, such as the stagecoach---a fun site for upper elementary and middle school.
The Center for Educational Telecommunications has in-gathered a variety of media about the history, culture and current life of Asian peoples to the U.S. You will find Chinese, Vietnamese and Pacific Islanders--more information about some groups than others.
Museum Box allows users to encapsulate artifacts as well as written, video and other types of evidence from research projects. Better than food-stained index cards.
The Presidential Timeline, developed by University of Texas' Learning Technology Center at Austin and the National Archives, "reminds us that history is not simply the set of narratives we read in history books but the experience of creating these stories from the essential evidence contained in primary sources, such as ... diaries."
Search Virtual Museums for ideas for helping students construct their own exhibit of primary sources.