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Found 1,755 Collections



Allensworth, CA. founded in 1908, represents the only all black township in California; founded, built, governed and populated by African Americans. Located in the great central valley (southern San Joaquin), it was founded to be a agricultural community and center of learning. Where, African Americans only 50 years out of slavery could become economically free. Due to lack of a dependable water supply, the untimely death of the Colonel and other factors the town's future was bleak. By 1918 the town began its demise struggling to survive. The historic portions of the town became a state historic park in the 1970's. It is formally listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a California Historic Landmark.

Steven Ptomey

Cultural Series: Bahrain

A general topical overview collection of Bahrain (and Arabian Gulf-related) objects in the Smithsonian collections. Stamps are featured, as well as the historic pearling industry; Endangered species are described, as well as articles about the ancient Dilmun culture and other archaeological finds.

Tracie Spinale

Cultural Series: Five Pillars of Islam

What can we learn about people from their cultural artifacts? The Five Pillars of Islam are unifying principles of the faith by which all Muslims abide. They are: Profession of Faith (Shahada), Prayer (Salat), Alms (Zakat), Fasting (Sawm), and Pilgrimage to Mecca (The Hajj). Look through the collection. What's going on? Identify an artifact that represents a pillar. What do you see that makes you say that? Explain what pillar you think it represents, and explain why. Bonus activity: Complete the sorting activity. What did you know about the Five Pillars before you began the activity? Did you learn anything new? What do you think now about observing the Five Pillars?

Tags: Islam, Muslim, religion, Muhammad, object analysis, practice, pilgrimage, hajj, fasting, Ramadan, Shahada, zakat, tithe, salat, prayer, cultural literacy

The original collection and idea was created by Kate Harris, SCLDA.


Tracie Spinale

Should President Truman have dropped the Atomic Bomb(s) on Japan during World War II?

The following pieces in this collection look at the Pacific Theater of World War II and President Truman's decision to use the world's first atomic weapons on Japan. As students work through this collection, they should take their outside knowledge to form an opinion on whether the decision to drop the atomic bombs were justifiable with military necessitiy.

Matthew Stagl

Social Justice: National Museum of African American History and Culture Resources

This collection previews the first seminar of the 2017 Montgomery College / Smithsonian Institution Fellowship seminar series, A Journey Through the African American Lens. Five National Museum of African American History and Culture staff members will lead this event: Kinshasha Holman Conwill, Dr. Rex Ellis, Dr. Jacquelyn Serwer, Dr. Michèle Gates Moresi, and Mary Elliott.

Resources and reflection questions included in this collection have been chosen by the presenters for participants to explore, consider, and answer before the seminar itself. Fellows will be asked to discuss their answers to the reflection questions during the seminar.


Tess Porter

Objects of Leisure: Children's Toys from 1750-1899

This exhibit showcases objects of leisure, focusing on children's toys like wooden wagons and paper dolls. These artifacts depict evolving themes of childhood and growth in North America from the mid-18th to the late-19th centuries. These material objects established and enforced the traditional gender roles of the time periods during which they were created. Toymakers often targeted specific younger audiences, catering their designs to whichever gender was socially suited to the toy. Toys were either made by artisanal third parties who were paid for their products or were constructed by individuals from objects that were had on-hand within the home. The toys educated young children in socially accepted gender roles, assigning girls to feminine notions of domesticity and modesty, while resigning boys to more masculine pursuits of rough play and control-seeking. By analyzing these artifacts and material objects, present day historians and audiences alike can become better informed about past sociocultural trends and gender roles, making for a more informed public. This can allow modern viewers to better contextualize historical subjects.

Anna Kosub

Women in World War II

This collection teaches students about the changing role of women during World War II: their role in the workplace, increasing presence in the military, and participation in voluntary organizations that supported the war. Students should think about how these activities reinforced traditional notions of gender divisions while they also allowed women to experience new activities.
Maeve Nolan

American Democracy

In conjunction with the Smithsonian Institutions Traveling Exhibition Services - American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith exhibition

More than just waging a war of independence, American revolutionaries took a great leap of faith and established a new government based on the sovereignty of the people. It was truly a radical idea that entrusted the power of the nation not in a monarchy but in its citizens. Each generation since continues to question how to form "a more perfect union" around this radical idea.

Emma Garten

When did women achived equal rigths in North America? #TeachingInquiry

This collection pretends to show how women fought for equal rigths and the importance in history

Mariana Silveira

Indian Dress in Early America

This collection displays a variety of ceremonial dress used by indigenous people in North America before 1830. Through these objects and primary documents, we see that not only are North American Indians diverse and well-adapted to their particular environments, but that European-descended collectors admired the skill of Indian artisans even as they sought to displace them.

Women are not often discussed as part of the diplomatic and political worlds of Native America, and far fewer images of Native women exist, but in fact these materials show that women served as key players in helping Native peoples and Europeans understand one another. Through their labor sewing, tanning hides, and cutting cloth, Native women helped societies and cultures survive colonialism. 

Jessica Taylor

Social Justice: Opening Panel Resources

This collection previews the opening panel of the 2017 Montgomery College / Smithsonian Institution Fellowship seminar series, Social Justice: America's Unfinished Story of Struggle, Strife, and Sacrifice. Four Smithsonian staff members will speak at this event: Igor Krupnik (Arctic Studies Center, Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History), Lanae Spruce (National Museum of African American History and Culture), Ranald Woodaman (Smithsonian Latino Center), and E. Carmen Ramos (Smithsonian American Art Museum).

Each text annotation in this collection contains each speaker's presentation title, description, and bio. Following each text annotation are resources and questions chosen by the presenters for participants to consider before the panel itself.


Tess Porter

Gettysburg Address

Why was the Gettysburg Address one of the most famous speeches in American history? This Collection contains images that illustrate how President Abraham Lincoln looked during this period in history; information that explains how Lincoln came to be in Gettysburg and images of where he delivered his famous speech; the Nicolay copy of the Gettysburg Address along with a video recitation of the speech; and, an image of the statue that memorializes the event that occurred at Gettysburg National Military Park, PA.
Catlyn Kriston

What do you see? Using the lens of art to discover hidden history

2017 NCHE Presentation- Lash and Rickman

Stephanie Lash

Posters, Pins & Postage for a Cause

Analyze selected images and discuss:

  • What is the cause or social issue?
  • How has the artist/designer combined text and image to communicate a message?
  • What visual qualities make an image effective or not?

Jean-Marie Galing

Charles Russell: Art of the American West

Charles Russell brought the west alive with his paintings and sculptures of western life. His authentic depictions of Native Americans allow the viewer to appreciate the dress and life of the plains Indians. Also skilled in sculpture, Russell depicts cowboys and wildlife in action settings. This lab provides samples of Russell's best work.

Arthur Glaser

American stereotype: All Black Pilgrim Attire

Every year near Thanksgiving, images of our Pilgrims father begin to proliferate showing them as very austere and wearing only black clothing. This learning lab introduces images of Pilgrims that are compared with written primary sources. It was customary in the 17th century to inventory all the belongings of the deceased before they were distributed to the heirs. These inventories and the wills themselves provide detailed information about the attire of everyday Pilgrims of this period.

Arthur Glaser

Jamestown: Challenge for Survival

The early years in Virginia's first colony were fraught with starvation and illness. Many of the Jamestown colonists were not "survivors". Most were gentlemen searching for gold and riches and had no experience living in the wilderness. America was a challenge: the forest primeval had never been cut, there was no available farmland, few had experience at fishing or hunting and gathering. Our story about tells about the ultimate in desperation.

Arthur Glaser

Aspects of the New Deal

Each item in this collection matches a part of the New Deal. Students must justify their answer using evidence in the image.

Michelle Moses

What's in a name?

This collection is based on a lesson in Bruce Lesh's "Why Won't You Just Tell Us the Answer?" and on a Smithsonian National Museum of American History lesson (both cited fully below). In this lesson, students will evaluate primary source material in order to develop an appropriate name for the site of the 1876 battle at Little Bighorn River. This collection allows students to explore the following questions:

  • Why do different interpretations of history develop? How do they change over time?
  • When thinking about conflicts in history, whose perspectives are valued and remembered?

tags: Custer, Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Little Big Horn, continuity, change over time, perspective, historiography, point of view, Native American, indigenous, American Indian, Sioux, Greasy Grass

Kate Harris

Native American Assimilation

During the late 19th century, reformers in the United States like Helen Hunt Jackson pushed for a change in attitude towards Native Americans. Rather than simply viewing them as enemies from whom land could be gained, these reformers promoted the concept of assimilation, or helping Native Americans adopt the characteristics of white culture that would allow them to be successful in American society. One of the ways they did this was through the use of Christian boarding schools for Native American children. Federal laws, like the Dawes Act of 1887, also supported this goal.

As you investigate the artifacts, images, and readings in this collection, consider whether you think

assimilation was a beneficial policy for Native Americans.

Tags: point of view, assimilation, assimilate, American Indians, Carlisle, Jim Thorpe, allotment

Amy Kerr

Cultural Series: Georgia (Country)

A collection of Smithsonian resources about the county of Georgia, in Europe. Features geography, ecology, folklife, music, and culture.

Tracie Spinale

World War 1 Homefront

Matt Swanson

Vikings--Myths and Mysteries

The Vikings have inspired many artists, writers, and filmmakers with their bravery and unique way of life. However, many misconceptions have developed and many facts are still unknown. In this collection, students will explore the website for the Vikings exhibit while taking notes on the included worksheet. Then, they'll evaluate three works of art (and a team logo) based on the Vikings to gauge how accurately they represent Viking life. Finally, they will be asked to create their own 2-D or 3-D object representing Viking life.

Tags: Norse, inquiry, Viking, Norway, Greenland, Iceland

Amy Kennedy

Black History Month: Dance

Christina Ratatori
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