Tag Archives: National Archives

Have Students Make & Analyze Treaties via the National Archives

Docs Teach from the National Archives has a lot of great activities that incorporate primary sources and use great digital tools. A newly published activity helps students to analyze treaties through Treaty Making.

Students will read and analyze the text of six early treaties between the U.S. government and Great Britain, Russia, and several Native American tribes, and answer a few essential questions. Through close examination of the documents, students will expand their understanding of the original sovereign and separate nature of American Indian tribes, their legal status as independent governments, and the purposes of treaty-making between governments in general.

Students use the Mapping History tool to link primary sources spacialy on a map and incorporate existing treaties for analysis and discussion. Students then participate in a hands on activity that requires them to create a treaty of their own. The lesson plan is fully mapped out with Common Core alignment. Check out this great lesson here. You can explore additional lessons on Docs Teach website.

Kurz and Allison, Spanish-American Treaty of Peace, Paris 1898 Courtesy of WIkimedia Commons

Kurz and Allison, Spanish-American Treaty of Peace, Paris 1898
Courtesy of WIkimedia Commons

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National Archives Making Thousands of Images Available via Wikimedia Commons

Adams_Boulder_Dam_1942The National Archives has uploaded thousands of images to Wikimedia Commons, making them available free of charge to the general public. 

“By uploading digital content there, we make it readily available for Wikipedia editors to embed in Wikipedia articles, making them far more visible than they are in our own catalog,” said Dominic McDevitt-Parks, digital content specialist and Wikipedian in Residence at NARA.

They intend to make thousands of more images available in the near future. You can read more about their collaboration here

The National Archives Needs Your Help to Transcribe WWI Diaries

The Smithsonian often reaches out to the public to help its transcription projects. The most recent is to help transcribe diaries from World War I.

Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The project is called Operation War Diary, and it comes from a partnership between the National Archives, the citizen science initiative Zooniverse and the Imperial War Museum in the UK. The diaries have all been scanned and posted online for citizen historians to look at and transcribe.

To participate, users just pick a diary and get started. They’re then given a scanned page to classify and document. Users are asked to take notes of particular data points—the date of the entry, whether the entry lists casualties, what people it mentions, if it has a map and more.

Currently, these documents are only available in paper form. However, the Smithsonian hopes to change that by making them fully digitized! To volunteer for this important project, please see their blog post here.