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Found 6,313 Collections


The Darkest Month: Coal Mining Disasters of December 1907

The Darkest Month contains activities, primary sources, and other information to help teach students about the effect of transportation in western Pennsylvania  (be sure to click on the paper clip and/or info icon on each item to find out more about it). 

This resource was originally created to commemorate the centennial anniversary of the Darr and Monongah coalmining disasters – two of the worst coalmining disasters in American history. Occurring in Jacobs Creek, Pennsylvania, and Monongah, West Virginia, these devastating mine explosions revealed the overly hazardous conditions faced by immigrant coalminers drawn to the Pittsburgh Coal Seam by the prospect of work. The story of the miners who perished in December of 1907, known at the time as the “dreadful month” because of a string of mining disasters nationwide that left nearly 3,000 miners dead, affords a long overdue opportunity to discuss the historical impact of coalmining on the greater Pittsburgh region. It also illuminates larger social history themes including the interrelationship of immigration, industry, capitalism, and organized labor. The fact that these industrial disasters occurred in 1907, the peak year of immigrant arrivals to Ellis Island, underscores the centrality of immigration to the American coalmining story. With heavy attention on ethnic life, these resources show how European immigrants modeled their Old World lives within their new industrial homes and used these institutions to survive their day to day work in an extremely dangerous industry.


The Declaration of Independence

On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed by the delegates of the Constitutional Congress. It's important because it holds the ideals and beliefs of our nation that were written by our nations Founding Fathers. The Declaration of Independence was written by Thomas Jefferson alongside with the ideas of Benjamin Franklin, Robert Livingston, Roger Sherman, and John Adams. "The Declaration of Independence states that all men are created equal and are entitled to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." These ideas would be expressed again in the new republic's Constitution. These ideas form the basis of our beliefs about the role of our government in our lives today."

Lauryn Ransom

The Declaration of Independence and Slavery - "The Paradox of Liberty" (Rhetorical Analysis)

This collection will be used to supplement students' rhetorical analysis of The Declaration of Independence. Earlier in the year, students discussed the paradoxical nature of the Puritans arriving in the New World to escape religious intolerance, yet they were exceedingly intolerant of other religions (i.e., Quakers). In a similar fashion, we'll examine the Declaration of Independence and a critical portion deliberately removed: references to abolishing slavery. We will examine a variety of works of art, noting the clues they give us regarding our founding fathers' often complex ideologies. #SAAMteach

A Detailed lesson plan follows in the "Notes to Other Users."

Annette Spahr

The Democratization of Portraiture: Prints and Drawings of all the People by the People

This collection serves as a preview for the first seminar session of the 2018 Smithsonian-Montgomery College Faculty Fellowship Program. This year's theme is “We the People: America’s Grand and Radical Experiment with Democracy.”

National Portrait Gallery curator Asma Naeem and educator Briana Zavadil White will present an engaging and interactive examination of the democratization of portraiture in the United States, and model close looking techniques that Fellows can use with their students. Included within are a presentation description, participant bios, a "reading portraiture" guide, and images and articles for participants to consider in advance of the session.


Christopher Columbus, Yarrow Mamout, Charles Mingus, Lena Horne, Leonard Roy Harmon, Bill Viola

Philippa Rappoport

The Differences In Purpose

In this collection every image tells the story of what the purpose of food is in the documentaries, Chef's Table Season 1 Ep.2: Dan Baber and The Search for General Tso. In the first three images Dan Baber's purpose of food is shown the first image represents how the chef Dan Baber is aware of the power of the chef to influence and educate how people think about food. The second and third images represents the farm to table movement that Dan ultimately hopes to become a success in society. The four images that follow show the different purpose that the Chinese food serves in the documentary The Search for General Tso. which is more of a story of coming to a new world which was the case for the Chinese immigrants as pictured in the fourth and fifth images and to survive and make a living as shown in the last image.

Jonathan Carmona

The Dred Scott Case

The Dred Scott case was one of America's most controversial Supreme Court decisions. Who was Dred Scott and did he have a right to his freedom?
The goal of this Collection is to engage students to read and research people and texts that comprised this historical event then write a persuasive essay based on opinion gathered from details and facts procured from their readings and research.

Dred Scott
Dred Scott vs Sanford
Dred Scott vs Sandford
U.S. Supreme Court
Supreme Court
Chief Justice Taney
Declaration of Independence
Missouri Compromise
Pre Civil War Era
Linda Muller

The early 1900s

The purpose of this project is to depict the decade from 1900-1910. This was an era of prosperity yet suffocated qualms, such as workers' and women's rights. This was a time of women's bodily and social restriction at the same time of men's power in large businesses. For many around the world, the U.S. meant the future, yet still others were in the midst of oppression from the very same source. This period was a time of struggle for justice and sense, freedom from hypocrisy. 

Bryn Spencer

The Edward H. & Rosamund B. Spicer Photos of Yaqui Culture

The Rosamund B. and Edward H. Spicer of photographs of Yoeme (Yaqui) documents lifeways, culture, ceremonies, and families from the mid-1930s to the early 1940s in the villages of Old Pascua, Arizona and Potom, Sonora, Mexico.


Arizona State Museum

The Effects of The Consumer Revolution

The consumer revolution was a major part of history that influenced societies views on good and the status that comes a long with wealth.  We see an increase in ease of credit, travel, and more efficient production which allows people to now display their wealth and status in society

The pieces included in this collection will relate directly to the consumer revolution and show the transition into this period of mass consumption in america that increases the dependency on Britain for production, as well as the widespread elite debts that lead to increases in taxes.  and the eventual effects that  lead to the separation from Britain. This trend is something that leaves a lasting imprint on American culture and is something that can still be seen today. 

Gabriel Rodriguez

The Electronic Superhighway: Perception of American Culture

Is American Culture always perceived in the same way by everyone or does it differ from person to person?


Brooke Oxendine

The Emancipation Proclamation

How did the writing of the Emancipation Proclamation reflect the political tensions of the time? This collection reviews the writing, impact, and legacy of the Emancipation Proclamation through videos, informational texts, and art. Students can work through the lesson independently and their understanding of the Emancipation Proclamation will be assessed via quiz questions. Students will be able to determine the short-term and long-term impacts of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Kate Harris

The Emancipation Proclamation: Manuscripts of Freedom

The Smithsonian Institute holds several digitized manuscripts that outline the path to freedom for African Americans with the most central being the Emancipation Proclamation. On January 1, 1963, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Proclamation as a military act that freed slaves in the rebellion states. The document itself, however, succeeded the District of Columbia Emancipation Act (1962), which freed slaves in Washington, D.C. eight months prior, and proceeded the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the Juneteenth Proclamation. One hundred years later, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which specified social justice mandates not written in the aforementioned documents. The Act outlawed discrimination in the United States and legally instituted what the Emancipation Proclamation only proposed.

This collection chronicles the drafting of these five critical manuscripts and the events and ideologies that spurred subsequent legislation. Students will study digitized images of the Emancipation Proclamation and examine reasons that portions of the text necessitated legal amendments. The collection includes a student activity for teacher use.

Keywords: African American History, American History, NMAAHC, The District of Columbia Emancipation Act, Emancipation Proclamation, 13th Amendment, Juneteenth, Civil Rights Act of 1964

Le'Passion Darby

The End of the Cold War

This teaching collection chronicles the events and people associated with the end of the Cold War. Suggested teaching strategies are embedded throughout.

Guiding questions include:
-Who started the "revolutions" of 1989--Gorbachev and his reforms? People in Eastern Europe?
-Evaluate the roles of the United States and the Reagan and Bush administrations, as well as the changes within the Soviet Union, in bringing about the end of the Cold War.
-Why did the Cold War end?
-What were the costs of the Cold War, both human and material?
-What are the legacies/lessons of the Cold War?
-What uncertainties or questions remained as the Cold War came to a close? What would come to characterize the 'New World Order' that followed?

Tags: Wilson Center, Cold War, Reagan, Gorbachev, glasnost, perestroika, revolution, Soviet Union, USSR, Communism
Kate Harris

The End of World War I

This collection asks users to consider how unresolved issues from WWI may have led to the outbreak of war again in the 1930s. Included is a letter from a soldier on the end of the war, a summary of the Treaty of Versailles, a painting and a political cartoon.

The collection asks students to evaluate the predictions about future wars made by the letter's author and then to evaluate how and why the Treaty of Versailles may have failed.

Tags: World War I, Treaty of Versailles, League of Nations, armistice, interwar, World War I, Hitler
Kate Harris

The Engineering Behind the World Record Skydive

On October 24, 2014, Alan Eustace set three world records when he jumped from the stratosphere, including highest exit altitude. Achieving this record took a lot of engineering. On this episode of STEM in 30, follow the path of the suit Eustace wore from concept to design and from production to execution.

April 11, 2018

STEM in 30 at National Air and Space Museum

The Engineering Design Process

This collection of teaching resources includes lesson plans and multimedia resources about the engineering design process. There are several lesson plans on architecture and engineering concepts of design, such as simple shelters, balance, and materials. The videos and illustrations explain what engineers do and the fundamental engineering design process.

This lesson includes:

  • A video by Crash Course Kids titled "What's an Engineer? Crash Course Kids #12.1" (4:30)
  • A video by Crash Course Kids titled "The Engineering Process: Crash Course Kids #12.2" (5:17)
  • Two models of the Engineering Design Process by Preschool Steam
  • Engineering/architecture activities from the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum for Pre-Kindergarten-1st Grade
Christina Shepard

The Environmentalism Movement

To what extent did the modern environmentalism movement influence environmental awareness and change?

Kevin Quigley

The Evolution of Fashion from 1800-1865

It’s no secret that fashion has changed tremendously over the last century. From color to the type of material used, fashion is always changing and progressing. This is particularly for the nineteenth century where fashion evolved greatly from the early 1800's to the mid 1860's. Women's dresses went from being quite basic to extremely detailed; they got fuller and tighter at the waist. In addition, clothing transitioned from plain fabrics and dull colors to patterned fabrics and bright, vibrant colors. At the beginning of the century, men's hairstyles often included the infamous "rat tail"and women's hairstyles consisted of short curls or waves. However, by the mid 1860's, men's hairstyles included the "comb back," and women's hairstyles consisted of long waves or crimps. When most people hear the word fashion, they immediately think of the way an individual dresses or the clothing he/she wears. While this is true, fashion also includes one's hairstyle, shoes, accessories, etc. Most importantly, fashion is also seen as a form of self-expression, that is a way that individuals differentiate themselves from one another. This is especially true during the years 1800 to 1865, where an individual's fashion depended greatly on his/her social class, economic background, race, religion, etc. For example, individuals of the "upper class" would wear more detailed and extravagant clothing. Their clothing would be made out of more expensive fabrics such as silk, whereas individuals of the "middle class" would dress in more simple clothing made of lower grade fabrics such as linen. In addition, women in the "upper class" wore tighter corsets, whereas working women apart of the "middle class" wore looser corsets. Fashion has had and still has an immense impact on our culture and the way our society functions as a whole. This collection will not only display these various changes of fashion from the year 1800 to the year 1865 but the societal changes that resulted as well. 

Enjoy :) 

yesenia owens

The Evolution of firearms

"Speak softly, and carry a big stick."

This was a phrase often spoken by U.S president (then governor) Theodore Roosevelt speaking of the importance of carrying a “big stick”, or weaponry. Throughout human history, every civilization has been in search of the “biggest stick” whether it be for war and conquest, or just defense. Perhaps, there has not been a more revolutionary change in defense than the creation of the firearm. A weapon with enormous capabilities in battle that has evolved for hundreds of years to become a standard for modern warfare. These weapons have completely changed the way humans strategize and perform in warfare, and will likely continue to do so. In this collection, we will look at the evolution of the firearm and marvels of engineering created to make it one of the most powerful weapons in human history.

Within this collection, we will look at how firearms evolved over hundreds of years of technological advancements from various cultures into the modern day firearms we see today.

Minghao Li

The Evolution of Music Technology

The theme of this collection is music and technology and specifically the evolution of music technology. This collection will address the different ways in which popular music in America has been dispersed/listened to over the course of time. This collection will include images, videos and audio. 



Barnicle, S. (1997). Music Technology. Music Educators Journal,84(3), 9-9. Retrieved from

Herzog, K. (2019, February 15). 24 Inventions That Changed Music. Retrieved from
Starr, L., & Waterman, C. (2009). American Popular Music; from Minstrelsy to MP3 Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003. xii 498 pp [Abstract]. Popular Music,28(1), 124-125. doi:10.1017/s0261143008001694
Timeline of music technology. (2019, February 24). Retrieved from

Content Sources

"Microphone." (2019). Microphone. Retrieved from
Invention. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Sommerfeld, K. (2018, November 28). History of the Cassette Tape. Retrieved from
Take a Quick Trip Through The History of Sheet Music - A Fun Infographic. (2016, September 09). Retrieved from
Us, H. Q. (n.d.). History of the Radio:. Retrieved from

Amanda Leslie

The Evolution of Technology in United States Popular Music

This collection will explore how new technological inventions have shaped the way people listen to popular music in the United States throughout history. We will discusses the theme "Music and Technology", that has been covered in class. The collection will include images, articles, and videos about new inventions that shaped the way Americans listened to popular music. We will cover inventions going all the way back to the phonograph in 1877, to the Apple iPod in 2001. This collection would most likely be intended for high school and college students. #MUS109-2019

Resource Citation:

Starr, L., & Waterman, C. (2009). American Popular Music; from Minstrelsy to MP3 Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003. Popular Music, 28(1), 124-125. doi:10.1017/s0261143008001694Compact_Discs_(CDs)






Sam Colombo

The Evolution of the NASA space suit

a look of how the space suit has changed from the 1950's to the present day
sherry mccombs

The Exile of Roger Williams

The exile of Roger Williams from Puritan society was the catalyst of the first separation of church and state debates in the United States. Originally arriving to Boston and serving as a religious leader in Massachusetts, Williams was exiled for primarily religious reasons. Shortly afterward, he founded what would become the state of Rhode Island which became a refuge for those exiled from Puritan society, including the likes of famed activist and fellow outlaw Anne Hutchinson.  Rhode Island was founded with the intention that it would be a refuge from judgmental Puritan society, a place of peace between all people, and a place where personal religious practices and state agendas would be kept separate. In this way, Rhode Island's state motto, "Hope", represents its founding perfectly. 

Sharayah Davis
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