Community reviews for Library of Congress

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Ready, Set, Learn

Although the sheer amount of information on the Library of Congress website can be overwhelming, there are tools to make it easier for users. Showing students how to access the Primary Source Sets, Online Exhibitions, or America's Story (which has much more kid-friendly text), will offset the vastness of the collection and make it manageable. The Library's staff and affiliate groups within the Teaching with Primary Sources program create lesson plans for teachers at every grade level which provide entry into the collection for those who are new to the website. The Library also offers links to digital content from partner institutions around the world and their staff works constantly to update and improve the site as well as digitizing and adding more content. I'm not sure how I would teach social studies without this site.
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A wealth of primary sources to explore!

This website contains a wealth of knowledge, but even for experienced users can be hard to navigate. Using already curated primary source sets, or links like Chronicling America, are easy for students. I also print out primary sources for students to use. Their "ask a librarian" button is available for teachers and students who are struggling to navigate the site. Additionally, they have regional partners around the country (generally colleges), that will train teachers to use the site and even print resources for schools. There's also an extensive blog and teachers network ( that teachers can join for more support on using the site. Using the primary sources helps me expose my students to multiple historical perspectives. It also promotes Common Core reading skills, and higher level thinking skills as students observe, reflect, and question what they are seeing.
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Primary Sources

Overall, I find this website to be a valuable teaching tool when teaching whole groups or upper level grades. I think that there is so much information on this site that younger students will find it hard to pick and choose what information to use.
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The place to go for Primary Sources

While I love this site and the resources that the website provides, it can be hard to find the information that you are looking for. There is A LOT of information to sift through in order to find what you are looking for. I have used this website multiple times for myself and with my kids. I really like the collections that they highlight and the amount of information that goes with a lot of their primary sources. To use this website effectively you need a lot of time for lesson prep. The kids and I have gotten lost a couple of times in all of the information. While it may take some time to get comfortable with the website, it is a great resource that I will use again and again!
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Primary sources resource like no other...worth the effort

I love the Library of Congress resources. It is especially helpful for teachers who are focused on teaching topics or themes from American history as that is the bulk of their catalog of items (world history items are adding more all of the time, but nowhere near the volume of the U.S. items). It helps to make history come alive for students, which especially for the younger grades, can often be a struggle ("why do we need to learn about what happened to all of those dead people?"). The use of primary sources also helps to remind us as teachers that our job isn't simply to teach our subject matter, but perhaps even more important, to teach the skills that will be successful in any future they decide upon (critical thinking, close examination, asking informed questions, making inferences based on information, etc.).
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Library of Congress Website is a top notch place to find primary source documents.

I believe using primary sources with research is extremely important. This site is a visual learners dream! You can show change over time and compare documents from the past. This is the largest repository of primary source documents. I have used this more recently because of the great new updated changes, if you used it prior to the last two years you should go back and revisit this site. It has become much more user friendly. You can easily download letters, music files and photographs from the past. Don't miss out on utilizing this valuable resource to enhance your teaching!
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Great primary source resources

The Library of Congress website delivers the quality of primary sources you would expect from one of the leading repositories of information. They have done a wonderful job of adding tools and resources for elementary through high school students. You can see that they are constantly adding new materials and creating content to make history more appealing to all students. I try to teach to the five senses and the resources here engage the students senses of site and sound (feel too if you print the pictures or documents).
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Plethora of Primary Sources for all grades.

I can find anything I need to enrich the lessons. This is my first go to to find documents, audio and photographs to teach history.
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The is an excellent resource for teaching primary sources

The Library of Congress site is always one of the first resources I go to when I begin planning a project; especially for social studies classes.
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Robust sources in a variety of media

This is a great repository of resources for studying American History and a moderate resource for world history. What is especially notable is that its repository includes a variety of media - written text, video, high resolution images, audio recordings, etc. They also link to connected material. They regularly highlight collections in relationship to pertinent events in US History, e.g. D-Day, Black History Month, Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, etc.
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