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Summer Institute 2008

Website Week #2

Early National Formation: How Revolutionary was the American Revolution?

National Archives, Mid-Atlantic Region (Philadelphia): http://www.archives.gov/midatlantic/ 
The National Archives - Mid Atlantic Region serves the geographic areas of Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia, Maryland and Virginia. It helps federal officials manage information by offering technical assistance and training and setting records retention and disposal guidelines.  It maintains the historically significant federal records from 1790 to the present.

The National Archives in Washington DC website also features a range of useful educational tools including “Charters of Freedom: A New World is at Hand,” an online exhibition: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/
The Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights, collectively known as the Charters of Freedom, have guaranteed the rights and freedoms of Americans for over 200 years.  This online exhibition accompanies a permanent installation in the National Archives’ renovated Rotunda by the same name. 

See also “On Making a School Archive,” National Archives and Records Administration: http://www.archives.gov/about/history/building-an-archives/school-archives.html
The site offers a description of the architecture and guidelines on “establishing and maintaining a school archives,” including notes about technology, student involvement, and items to collect, as well as six titles for further reading. It provides a practical guide to collecting archival documentation as well as a reasoned rationale: “Developing a school archives provides a valuable service-learning opportunity for students and creates a lasting research tool and legacy from which future students and the archival community can benefit.”

Documents from the Continental Congress and the Constitution Convention, 1774-1789, Library of Congress
: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/continental/
The Continental Congress Broadside Collection and Constitutional Convention Broadside Collection contain 277 documents relating to the work of Congress and the drafting and ratification of the Constitution. Items include extracts of the journals of Congress, resolutions, proclamations, committee reports, treaties, and early printed versions of the United States Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Most broadsides are one page in length; others range from 1 to 28 pages. A number of these items contain manuscript annotations not recorded elsewhere that offer insight into the delicate process of creating consensus. In many cases, multiple copies bearing manuscript annotations are available to compare and contrast.

The Star-Spangled Banner, Smithsonian Museum of American History:
http://americanhistory.si.edu/ssb/
This exhibit tells the story of “the flag that inspired the National Anthem” through more than 50 images and short texts (50–200 words). Images from Smithsonian collections illustrate sections on patriotism, national memory, and how “common cultural symbols, such as the American flag, patriotic songs, presidential images, and monuments serve to coalesce a common identity among Americans.” The site also describes challenges the Smithsonian faces to preserve the flag that flew over Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore in 1814 and inspired Francis Scott Key’s poem, and provides a teacher’s manual for grades K-2, 3–5, and 6–8, a suggested reading list, links to other sites, and games with primary sources to investigate “mysteries surrounding this famous flag.”

Archive of Early American Images, John Carter Brown Library, Brown University: http://www.brown.edu/Facilities/John_Carter_Brown_Library/pages/ea_hmpg.html
This database is still being compiled but currently contains 2,268 images and will eventually contain some 6,000 images of early America from 1492 to 1825, many never before reproduced from their
original tests. Image viewing software is available from the site, and visitors can browse the entire archive or search by time period, geographical area, keyword, or subjects, including indigenous peoples, flora and fauna, artifacts, industry, human activities, geography, maps, city views and plans, and portraits.

National Constitution Centerhttp://www.constitutioncenter.org/
The National Constitution Center is an independent, non-partisan, and non-profit organization dedicated to increasing public understanding of, and appreciation for, the Constitution, its history, and its contemporary relevance, through its interactive, interpretive facility in Independence National Historical Park and a program of national outreach.  The National Constitution Center was created by the Constitution Heritage Act in 1988.
 
Independence National Park: http://www.nps.gov/inde and Liberty Bell Center: http://www.nps.gov/inde/liberty-bell-center.htm
Independence National Historical Park spans over 55 acres on 20 city blocks within the historic district of the City of Philadelphia and preserves and interprets many of our country’s most important resources associated with the establishment of the United States of America. In addition to the Liberty Bell and Independence hall, , Independence Park includes the First and Second Banks of the United States, Congress Hall and Old City Hall. Additionally, the park tells the story of Philadelphia's most famous citizen, Benjamin Franklin, in Franklin Court.

Historic Christ Church, Slavery in Philadelphia Program: http://www.christchurchphila.org/News_Events/Historic_Events/130/vobId__759/ Every year 250,000 tourists visit Christ Church and its Burial Ground, putting it among the ten most frequently visited sites in the Philadelphia region.  With seven signers of the Declaration of Independence and five signers of the Constitution buried here, Christ Church is a national shrine.  Beginning in 2008, the Christ Church Preservation Trust presents a unique interpretive drama telling the personal and powerful stories of slaves and slaveholders along with the founding fathers who visited and worshiped in Christ Church.

New Jersey History Partnership on the American Revolution: http://www.njhistorypartnership.org
This website provides useful resources for those teaching 18th or early 19th-century history of New Jersey organized under two themes: “American Revolution” and “Market Revolution.”  “American Revolution” contains lectures, lesson plans, and images of New Jersey historic sites such as Liberty Hall and Morven, as well as primary documents on topics ranging from women, African Americans, the state constitution, the Quakers, and the Lenape, and video clips on republican motherhood, the Great Awakening, and the battles of Trenton and Princeton. A less extensive section on the “Market Revolution” offers a lecture, lesson plan, and video clip on New Jersey’s transportation revolution, primary documents, and a timeline. Links are provided to partner institutions, history centers or organizations, and historic sites.

New Jersey
State Historic Sites: http://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/historic/
This site provides brief histories, hours, directions, and programs for all of New Jersey’s state parks and historic sites—ranging from the eighteenth through the twentieth centuries.

Atlantic
Heritage Center of New Jersey: http://www.atlanticheritagecenternj.org/
The Atlantic Heritage Center is an independent, non-profit, tax-exempt membership organization.  Originally founded in 1913 to collect and preserve the history of Atlantic County and southern New Jersey, the organization was incorporated as the Atlantic County Historical Society in 1915.  In 2006, the Society was renamed the Atlantic Heritage Center to better reflect the diversity of our resources and the variety of attractions awaiting visitors of all ages and backgrounds.

 
 
For more information about the Teaching American History Program click here