Library of Congress

Online Resources Workshop

Workshop Objectives

By the end of the Library of Congress Online Resources Workshop, each participant will be able to:

1.      locate the online digital resources found at the Library of Congress.

2.      locate and identify resources that are appropriate to use with South Carolina Curriculum Standard they teach.

3.      explain the types of digital resources located at the American Memory web site.


[Guide participants through each main link on the Library of Congress web page.† Highlight each item listed below.† Preview the American Memory link last.]


Workshop Outline

I.                     Global Gateway (World Resources)

The Library of Congress collects materials from all over the globe. Its collections of foreign-language materials are stunning in their scope and quality.† For several regions in the world, where preserving materials takes a back seat to more immediate human needs, the collections are superior to what is available locally.

a.       The Portals to the World page is the place to begin your search for information about other countries. †Selected by Library of Congress specialists, they provide authoritative and in-depth information.

b.      Centers for International Research††† The Library's reading rooms are the primary gateways to international resources. The Library's reading rooms offer

                                                               i.      †in-depth reference assistance

                                                             ii.      substantive briefings on a wide range of subjects relating to the countries, languages and cultures represented within their collections,

                                                            iii.      guides to specific Library's resources

c.       Featured PresentationsSelected items of international, cultural or historic importance from the Library's collections.

d.      Research Guides and DatabasesSearch country studies, foreign law materials, specialized catalogs, digitized books and journals.


II.                 Americaís Library (Games & Activities)

a.       Meet Amazing Americans (Discover the inventors, politicians, performers, activists and other everyday people who made this country what it is today.)

b.      Jump Back in Time (Take a trip to an era in American history).

c.       Explore the States (Learn interesting facts about the states you select on the map).

d.      Join America at Play (Discover Americaís favorite pastimes, sports and hobbies)!

e.       See, Hear and Sing (Watch a movie, hear a song, play a tune from Americanís past).

III.               Thomas (Legislative Information)

In Thomas you can view:

a.       Legislation (Current and past)

b.      Congressional Record

c.       Committee Information

d.      Appropriations

e.       Presidential Nominations

f.        Treaties

IV.              Exhibits (Online Galleries) †

a.       Current featured exhibits include:

                                                               i.      Churchill, Rivers

                                                             ii.      Edens, Empires (Lewis & Clark)

                                                            iii.      American Treasures of the library of Congress

                                                           iv.      Bob Hope and American Variety

                                                             v.      The Dream of Flight.

b.      A listing of past exhibits are still available to view on-line.



V.                 Wise Guide (A monthly web magazine)††

The "Wise Guide" will be refreshed monthly, much like a magazine, offering links to the best of the Library's online materials. Each of these "articles" is based on items contained in a collection, database, reading room or other area of the Library's online offerings. You will see that the LOC is "more than a library," and the holdings range from prints, photographs, films, audio recordings, maps, manuscripts, music, and digital materials to (of course) books. The LOC is also a place that sponsors concerts, lectures, dance performances, film screenings, and poetry readings. The Guide's monthly "articles" should encourage you to explore the millions of item made available at

VI.              American Memory (US History Resources)††

With more than 8 million digital items from more than 120 historical collections, American Memory is a gateway to rich primary source materials relating to the history and culture of the United States.

Note:The primary sources in American Memory come ďas isĒ without context or a textbook/encyclopedic explanation. While intriguing, they often raise more questions than they answer, making them a wonderful resource for building critical thinking and triggering engaged research. But it's a good idea to structure their use by limiting access to one or two collections or by providing a teacher prepared set of links that will ensure the successful and expedient use of the site.


a.      Today in History

Links to American Memory items related to each day of the year.† You can view items for today or search the archive by content or date.

b.      Copyright and Restrictions

General information is provided on copyright and other restrictions.† Detailed information on citing sources and copyright is provided on the Learning Page.

c.       Whatís New

Features New Collections, Featured Presentations, and Future Collections.

d.      The Learning Page
This site contains links to the six major sections, plus links for a chat section and a "News!" page that shares announcements about conferences, events, new content, and resources of special interest to educators.† There is also a link to a page highlighting other Library content of special interest to educators.††

                                                               i.      Getting Started
This page provides orientation for users of The Learning Page and the American Memory collections.† It offers illustrative examples of types of primary sources and how they might be used in the classroom. This section includes information about how to:

1.      search, link & bookmark

2.      view & listen

3.      print & save

4.      cite sources

5.      understand copyright and fair use

6.      link to History Day Resources, Internet Resources, and Read More About It (bibliographies) helpful.

                                                             ii.      Lesson Plans
Almost seventy lesson plans created by educators and tested in their classrooms.† They are organized by Discipline, Era, Theme, Title, or Topic.† Required handouts and references and are ready for use "as is" or can be adapted as needed. The lessons look at American History through various perspectives and disciplines. There are also links for using primary materials with students, and more.

                                                            iii.      Features & Activities
An entire page of links to various activities, each with a short description and suggested grade levels.

1.      Collaborative Activities

This area provides students an opportunity to interact with the Library of Congress and with other students. †Some collaborations can be joined at any time, while others are "events" offered with moderation at specific times.

2.      Activities

Interactive, "hands on" experiences focused on specific topics, rather than broad themes. They require teacher direction, but invite students to participate.

3.      Feature Presentations

Look across the American Memory collections to investigate curricular themes. They include historical background information, helping to tell the stories behind the themes.


                                                           iv.      Collection Connections
Collection Connections provide activity ideas for using the collections to develop critical thinking skills. Access these materials by collection title in the alphabetical index.†

Note:† Some collections only contain a summary.† Teaching resources have not yet been developed for these collections.


                                                             v.      Community Center
Meet Library staff, American Memory Fellows, and practicing educators from across the nation. Explore how primary sources can engage students in lifelong learning. Join in monthly, themed conversation through live chats.


                                                           vi.      Professional Development
The section is intended to help teachers make use of the Library's resources. It provides access to workshops and institutes (in the Library's Learning Center in Washington, or by video-conference) and an array of downloadable presentations and "handouts" for distribution. In addition, a collection of "Self-Serve Workshops" is available on historical topics, searching techniques, lesson design, an introduction to the collections, and even technical aspects of using the Web for learning and presentation


The American Memory website offers two points of entry for finding material in the collections.


e.      Collection Finder

The collections can be browsed alphabetically, by keyword or by title.† A brief description of each collection can be displayed.† The number of collections that are searched can also be narrowed by:

1.      Broad Topics (History, Education, Social Sciences, Performing Arts, etc.)

2.      Original Form (i.e. Written Materials, Maps, Motion Pictures, Photos & Prints, & Sound Recordings)

3.      Userís Format (Hear, Read, View)

4.      Time (Time period of the material)

5.      Place (Section of the US)

6.      Digital Format (JPEG, MPEG, MP3 PDF, QuickTime, RealMedia, SGML, MrSid, TIFF, WAV)

7.      Collaborative Projects

8.      Library Divisions


Each group of collections displayed can be searched by key word or phrase, individually or within the organizational categories listed.



f.        Search††

Entry through the search link takes you directly to a search window where you can search across all collections simultaneously.


                                                               i.      Search by key word or phrase .

                                                             ii.      Remov the check before the collection to exclude that collection from the search.†

                                                            iii.      Limit collections by selecting the original form of the materials you seek.