Thursday, January 5, 2012

Online sources for historical images, documents, videos, and audio

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you did not resolve to spend less time online—if you did, this post is not for you.

The rest of you, however, might find this link, sent by Billings elementary school librarian Ruth Ferris, interesting.

The link is to a post by David Bryne, who blogs at freetech4teachers.com. Titled “9 Sources for Historical Images,Documents, Videos, and Audio”, it includes some great links (along with useful hints for using those links).

Byrne recommended several sites I had not yet explored, like the Library of Congress’s National Jukebox (music from all eras) and The Travel Film Archive, “a collection of hundreds of travel films recorded between 1900 and 1970.” (A search of Montana revealed a 1900 silent film clip of a train arriving in Helena and six promotional films for Glacier, from the 1920s through 1950s.)

Other links Byrne recommended were old favorites, including Google Books, described in his post as “one of my go-to places for old books and magazines.” I use Google Books often for historical research—it is a great tool for all of us who don’t have easy access to a research library, and it’s amazing what you can find.

For example, try typing in Month Day Montana--e.g., July 14 Montana--into the search field in Google Books and then skimming the entries that pop up. In this instance I learned that, according to Montana: History of Two Centuries, miners uncovered significant placer deposits at Last Chance Gulch, on
July 14, 1864. (I discovered this neat trick when I was looking for “this day in Montana history” items).

Or enter a company name—I did this recently with Crane and Ordway (a plumbing company that built a warehouse in Billings in 1920) and uncovered a full text version of their 1922 periodical, The Valve World.

Happy surfing—and make sure to come up for air.

1 comment:

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