What We’re Reading: April 23, 2009 Edition

World Digital LibraryIn the news on Tuesday, the U.N. launched the World Digital Library, started four years ago by Librarian of Congress James Billington. Speaking of the Library of Congress, it’s extending the hours and dates of its Lincoln exhibit, due to popular demand. In other news, William and Mary students discover forgotten, and educationally valuable, documents in Richmond. We also link to a recap of Sam Wineburg’s controversial OAH speech, the making of a film series on WWII, New Deal classroom resources, and a fight for a Revolutionary War site. Finally we wrap up with some Earth Day links (just a day late).

  • U.N. Launches Library Of World’s Knowledge
    The World Digital Library is now available online, bringing together resources from 27 libraries in 19 countries. Hat tip.
  • Library of Congress Extends Lincoln Exhibit
    Due to popular demand, the Library of Congress is extending the closing date and public hours of their Lincoln exhibit: "With Malice Toward None: The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Exhibition."
  • W&M students make historical find in Richmond
    Read about William and Mary students unearthing documents from the 1920s and 30s, forgotten in an attic, that may “shed new light on the lives of early 20th-century African Americans.”
  • OAH 2009: Sam Wineburg Dares to Ask If the Teaching American History Program is a Boondoggle
    Sam Wineburg, professor at the Stanford History Education Group, gave a controversial speech at this year’s annual meeting of the Organization of American Historians (OAH). The title of his speech: "An Antidote for an Ailing Profession or a $836,000,000 Boondoggle: The Future of the TAH Program." Rick Shenkman, editor of History News Network, details Wineburg’s speech, discusses the impact of TAH, explains TAH’s measures of success, and concludes with five recommendations given by Wineburg.
  • The Making of WWII Behind Closed Doors
    Historian Robert Dallek and filmmaker Laurence Rees discuss some aspects of the making of the three-part film series about the secret meetings between Winston Churchill, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Joseph Stalin. The series, described in the April 2009 Perspectives on History news story, is scheduled to be broadcast on PBS starting on May 6, 2009.
  • Teaching the New Deal: a New Classroom Resource
    The National History Education Clearinghouse takes a look at a new exhibit from the American Art Museum and how it can be used to teach the New Deal.
  • To Preserve or to Pave Over History
    The Fishkill Encampment and Supply Depot in New York State has almost become a battlefield for preservationists to promote their cause and fight the destruction of one of “the last […] important Revolutionary War sites yet to be properly explored, studied, and preserved.”

Earth Day

  • The History of Earth Day
    While Earth Day was yesterday (did you remember?), today we bring you a timeline of Earth Day’s history from the EPA.
  • Photograph of a Blue Ash Tree
    The Smithsonian National Museum of American History’s History Explorer web site posted a photo from their William F. Bucher collection of a Blue Ash Tree as a nod to Earth Day.
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