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Found 6,313 Collections


The History and Spread of Islam

This collection can be used by students to explore the founding, history, and spread of Islam. Includes short informational texts paired with artifacts from around the globe and some links to additional resources. Students are tasked with tracking the countries that are mentioned on a map, taking notes on how the religion spread, and how the religion may have changed as it spread to new areas and ethnic groups. There is a quiz to assess their understanding of these concepts at the end.

The guiding questions for this collection are:
1) Where was Islam founded and where did it spread?
2) How did the religion spread from place to place?
3) How were the practices and the beliefs adapted by the people of different geographic areas?

Maritt Wolfrom

The Holocaust

This is a collection of resources to help students understand The Holocaust based on works of art and sculptures.

Mary Mehsikomer

The Home I've Never Known

Exploration of El Salvador as it has been cataloged before, during, and after the civil war.

Silvia Navarro Hernandez

The House on Mango Street pre-reading

A two-day lesson for middle schoolers to introduce some of the themes in The House on Mango Street through art representing Latino/a Americans in the 1900s.

tags: immigrant experience, culture, gender roles, women, class divide, jigsaw, see think wonder


Kim Clifton

The Human mind

Cynthia Dieguez

The Impact of America's Musical Evolution

My curated collection will investigate the non-linear timeline of music and its impact on listeners. I am a firm believer that music does not “improve” with time as it is ever-evolving in new and unique ways. However, I do believe that the additions and discoveries for new styles of music creation to be relative. Music folds over itself. In many aspects of life, not only in music, humans  have built off of past discoveries in order to continue their own research and eventual creation. 

After studying early European music pieces, I have been inspired to further explore musical evolution.  Today's artists have access to all of the music that had been created and recorded. The ability to build upon certain sounds from historic cultures is imperative to what we hear now. While modern artists have better means to effectively produce music, it does not necessarily mean that the quality is superior; they are  simply using preexisting music forms to build their own one-of-a-kind art. The connections I've made are between these ground-breaking moments in music history and what we still hear today.

The audience that this subject should appeal to is the melting pot of America. Music acts as an artistic timeline because it can poetically represent the emotions of the average person in the given demographic. The more that I learn and research of ancient music styles, the more I see a reflection in today's pop music culture.In this collection, I will emphasize the importance to be aware that while different demographics of the world live and experience different physical existences; they experienced the same human emotions. Music helps to prove this idea, giving us the ability to pinpoint the feelings of the past, present and future. 


Cam Rodriguez

The Impact of Color in Paintings

This collection includes paintings of similar subjects  (women) presented in both black and white and in color. The objective of this project is for students to recognize and think about the impact of color on their interpretations.  Identify responses to color and think about it as one of the artist's tools for conveying meaning.


Tags: Elizabeth McCausland; Childe Hassam; Antonia de Banuelos; Angel Rodriguez-Diaz; William H. Johnson

Samantha Castaneda

The Impact of the Civil War on Society

Students will explore these sources to spark inquiry and investigation about how the Civil War impacted American society. 

  • Students can complete the sorting activity to categorize the images. 
  • Students should select one source they find most intriguing and generate questions  about the source and its related topic by completing the quiz question. 
Tiferet Ani

The Impact of the Salem Witch Trials

The Salem Witch Trials occurred in 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts. Although these trials ended long ago, society is left with constant reminders of the prejudice act. This collection represents the stereotypes that colonists held towards witches and the mass hysteria that caused the trials to spiral out of control.

Near the end of the collection, the so called "witches" will begin to appear as normal people; this is because most of the accused were of such: normal people. Nearly 200 colonists were sewn into this historical web of lies simply because they were either accused or embodied traits of a "witch".

This act of terrorism ended with 20 deceased colonists who were falsely accused, along with thousands who were branded with the memories of this horrible doing and prejudice against the unknown to share with the next generation.

Kim Walker

The Important Depiction of Different Kinds of Men in the Revolutionary Era Through Paintings

The lives of many different men and their stories can be told and learned about through only an image. Paintings and drawings are very telling of a historical figure's history, whether i'ts through simplicity or complex work, studying an image that was produced by an artist can tell a learner a lot if they are willing to study the portrait. 

Throughout the time of the American Revolution, different men from all kinds of different backgrounds and walks of life made history for the things they did. Some of them are known for groundbreaking stories such as leading a battle to victory, and others are known for being on the wrong side of bygone times. Some are only known for small feats, but every single man has a story. When studying the lives of historical figures, it can be hard to picture that  story without putting a face to the name. You find yourself wondering what they wore, what they looked like, and how they held themselves. Knowing the likes of these things can really make each figure's historical stories that much richer, so to say. 

Although your everyday and modern camera didn't exist in the seventeen and eighteen-hundreds, artists did. Every painting and drawing of a man came along with a story, and each portrait let the world know who these men were. If a man had a portrait, he had a story. The paintings and drawings of these men are important pieces of history from the Revolutionary era, as they serve as the only glimpse of what some of the most historical figures in American history even looked like. The artists from these times tell a man's history through only an image on paper.

The following ten paintings and drawings are portraits of men from the times of the Revolution. Although artists that the pieces once belonged to are long gone, the history of each man still lies within the images that are within this collection. 

Joshua Brown

The Industrial Revolution

Eile Guenego

The Industrial Revolution

This collection will explain the changes brought to American Life during the Industrial Revolution.

Thomas Gray

The Industrial Revolution in Pittsburgh

How was Pittsburgh impacted by the industrial revolution of the late 1800s?

Melissa Mayo

The Industrial Revolution, changes in consumerism, labor and community.

This lesson will examine how innovation in the distribution of food had a lasting effect on the consumer, the worker and the community.

Students will be invited to study Ralph Fasanella's Iceman Crucified. They will start  by examining the painting with the VTS method: What’s going on in this picture?, What do you see that makes you say that? and What more can we find?

Students will then be introduced to our set of supporting documents. At the conclusion of studying these sources we will revisit Iceman Crucified using the Step Inside: Perceive, Know about, Care about. This will include questions: What can the person or thing perceive? What might the person or thing know about or believe? What might the person or thing care about?

Students will end with a creative assignment that will ask them to give a Eulogy on the iceman


The Influence of Vengeance in Workplace Conflicts

A Woman who works in an office is offered a promotion, but ends up not getting it. She becomes envious and devises a plan in order to get her coworker who got the promotion, fired. 


Alanys Vega Lopez

The Influence of Warfare on Art Throughout History

The concept of groups of people initiating an organized conflict with one another predates civilization itself, and will likely always be present among us.  Many of the great historic civilizations who made major contributions to the arts also contributed to the development of military strategy and tactics, and participated in historic conflicts. In these civilizations, war is a frequent subject of the artwork they've produced, and the influence of war on the cultures of these societies is notable. This collection will examine the influences that warfare had on the art and culture of these civilizations through the analysis of individual works, and is meant to be viewed by those with an interest in military history and its commemoration through artwork/architecture.



The Internet and You

This 1997 the issue of Art to Zoo was an attempt to dispel the mysteries that still surrounded the Internet. It includes a tutorial on using Adobe Acrobat Reader and an introduction to Smithsonian websites. Click the PDF icon to download the issue.

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access

The Intersection of Race and Disability


Amy Prescott

The Invention of Thanksgiving

This collection explores the evolving history of how Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. The introductory video, podcast and lesson in the collection help provide context for the complicated portrayal and depiction of what actually happened at the first Thanksgiving and how it is celebrated today.

The images in this collection are different portrayals of the holiday over time. They have been grouped in order of publication from 1863 to 1994. As you look through them and complete the activities, think about these three key questions:

  • How does the context in which an image was produced affect the result? Meaning, how does what was happening at the time affect what kind of picture of Thanksgiving we see?
  • What do the images say about our national identity: who is welcome in the United States? What do we celebrate and why? Whose version of the Thanksgiving story does each image tell?

This collection was adapted from Kate Harris' collection, Thanksgiving-- A Reflection of A Nation and supplemented with the National Museum of the American Indian's Americans online exhibition. 


Ashley Naranjo

The Invention of the Cotton Gin

This collection displays the importance of the cotton gin during its time before 1865. The cotton gin was invented in 1794 by Eli Whitney. The machine was created to change the way cotton was cleaned in the United States. Basically the sole purpose of the machine was to speed up the time of removing seeds from cotton fiber. 

Before the cotton gin was created, slaves had to individually take out cotton seeds by hand. This process was a very tedious and painful job. The cotton gin could remove 50 pounds more cotton in a single day than one slave could in a day. As you go through the collection you will find out more about the objects and people that were involved with the cotton gin. The cotton gin is an important part of American history because it changed the way American's manufactured cotton. 

Rejji Kolade

The Irish Experience in Pittsburgh

Created for the AIU3 workshop on 3/17/17, this topical collection includes images from Historic Pittsburgh (, the Smithsonian Collection, the records of the Ancient Order of Hibernians in the Detre Library and Archives, Heinz History Center, and additional web resources. This large group of documents is intended to be shaped and whittled into useful collections for individual classrooms. Teachers might consider linking the documents to themes like:


•Push and Pull factors

•Growth of social networks



•Contributions (Political, Cultural, Military, Philanthropy)

•Industry in Western PA

•Labor Movement

To make this collection your own, copy it and then use the edit feature to add and remove documents as well as contribute any annotations that might help your students.

Kate Harris

The Iñupiaq People and Their Culture

By Beverly Faye Hugo (Iñupiaq), 2009

(This is shortened version of a longer essay from the Smithsonian book Living Our Cultures, Sharing Our Heritage: The First Peoples of Alaska.)

Sea, Land, Rivers

There’s ice and snow, the ocean and darkness – darkness in the winter and twenty-four hours of daylight in the summer. Barrow was originally called Utqiaġvik (meaning, “the place where ukpik, the snowy owl, nests”). That’s where my people, the Iñupiat, have survived and lived, and I am doing as they have done. On the Arctic coast you can see vast distances in all directions, out over the ocean and across the land. The country is very flat, with thousands of ponds and lakes, stretching all the way to the Brooks Range in the south. It is often windy, and there are no natural windbreaks, no trees, only shrubs. Beautiful flowers grow during the brief summer season. The ocean is our garden, where we hunt the sea mammals that sustain us. Throughout the year some seasonal activity is going on. We are whaling in the spring and fall, when the bowheads migrate past Barrow, going out for seals and walrus, fishing, or hunting on the land for caribou, geese, and ducks.

Whaling crews are made up of family members and relatives, and everyone takes part. The spring is an exciting time when the whole community is focused on the whales, hoping to catch one. The number we are permitted to take each year is set by the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission and the International Whaling Commission. Whaling is not for the faint of heart. It can be dangerous and takes an incredible amount of effort – getting ready, waiting for the whales, striking and pulling and towing them. But the men go out and do it because they want to feed the community. Everyone has to work hard throughout the whaling season. People who aren’t able to go out on the ice help in other ways, such as buying supplies and gas or preparing food. You have to make clothing for them; they need warm parkas, boots, and snow pants.

We believe that a whale gives itself to a captain and crew who are worthy people, who have integrity – that is the gift of the whale. Caring for whales, even after you’ve caught them, is important. After a whale is caught and divided up, everyone can glean meat from the bones. Each gets his share, even those who don’t belong to a crew. No one is left out.

We are really noticing the effects of global warming. The shorefast ice is much thinner in spring than it used to be, and in a strong wind it will sometimes break away. If you are out on the ice, you have to be extremely conscious of changes in the wind and current so that you will not be carried off on a broken floe. We are concerned as well about the effects of offshore drilling and seismic testing by the oil companies. They try to work with the community to avoid problems, but those activities could frighten the whales and be detrimental to hunting.


Community and Family

Iñupiaq residents of Barrow, Wales, Point Hope, Wainwright, and other coastal communities, are the Taġiuqmiut, “people of the salt.” People who live in the interior are the Nunamiut, “people of the land.” The Nunamiut used to be nomadic, moving from camp to camp with their dog teams, hunting and fishing to take care of their families. They packed light and lived in skin tents, tracking the caribou and mountain sheep. My husband, Patrick Hugo, was one of them. For the first six years of his life his family traveled like that, but when the government built a school at Anaktuvuk Pass in 1959 they settled there.

My parents, Charlie and Mary Edwardson, were my foremost educators. They taught me my life skills and language. When I came to awareness as a young child, all the people who took care of me spoke Iñupiaq, so that was my first language. Our father would trap and hunt. We never went hungry and had the best furs for our parkas. Our mother was a fine seamstress, and we learned to sew by helping her. My mother and grandmother taught us to how to care for a family and to do things in a spirit of cooperation and harmony.

I was a child during the Bureau of Indian Affairs era, when we were punished for speaking Iñupiaq in school. My first day in class was the saddest one of my young life. I had to learn English, and that was important, but my own language is something that I value dearly and have always guarded. It is a gift from my parents and ancestors, and I want to pass it on to my children and grandchildren and anyone who wants to learn.


Ceremony and Celebration

Nalukataq (blanket toss) is a time of celebration when spring whaling has been successful. It is a kind of all-day picnic. People visit with friends and family at the windbreaks that the crews set up by tipping the whale boats onto their sides. At noon they serve niġliq (goose) soup, dinner rolls, and tea. At around 3:00 P.M. we have mikigaq, made of fermented whale meat, tongue, and skin. At 5:00 they serve frozen maktak (whale skin and blubber) and quaq (raw frozen fish). It’s wonderful to enjoy these foods, to talk, and catch up with everyone at the end of the busy whaling season.

Kivgik, the Messenger Feast, was held in the qargi (ceremonial house). The umialgich (whaling captains) in one community sent messengers to the leaders of another, inviting them and their families to come for days of feasting, dances, and gift giving. They exchanged great quantities of valuable things – piles of furs, sealskins filled with oil, weapons, boats, and sleds. That took place until the early years of the twentieth century, when Presbyterian missionaries suppressed our traditional ceremonies, and many of the communal qargich in the villages were closed down.

In 1988, Mayor George Ahmaogak Sr. thought it was important to revitalize some of the traditions from before the Christian era, and Kivgik was started again. Today it is held in the high school gymnasium. People come to Barrow from many different communities to take part in the dancing and maġgalak, the exchange of gifts. You give presents to people who may have helped you or to those whom you want to honor.  Kivgiq brings us together as one people, just as it did in the time of our ancestors.

Tags: Iñupiaq, Inupiaq, Alaska Native, Indigenous, Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska, whale, whaling, human geography

Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska

The Kennedys

This is a topical collection of resources depicting the Kennedy family.
Linda Muller


This is a collection with at least 5 "artifacts" giving a basic knowledge on what the KKK is. This is for a presentation, made by Liam and I.

Nathan Stillwell
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