Monday, March 28, 2016

Authentic Purposes for Student Research

As many of you know, I'm a huge fan of finding authentic audiences for student research. Here's a fascinating project for those of you who have access to historic newspaper collections through your local library/museum or the morgue of your local newspaper.

The United States Holocaust Museum has started a national crowdsourcing project using local newspapers to understand the Holocaust by answering the following questions:

  • How much did Americans know about the Holocaust when it was happening? 
  • How did they respond?

The project empowers individual history enthusiasts and students to research how their hometown newspapers covered specific events in the 1930s and 1940s related to the Nazi persecution of Jews and others. Although the website is still in "beta," you can learn more about this project at History Unfolded: U.S. Newspapers and the Holocaust.

Here are some other posts from the archives that feature ways for students to research with a purpose:


  1. Hey there,

    Is it possible to still get the museum to school project going? I am a third grade teacher and would love to work with our local museum to create a children's guide to Bozeman/ Gallatin County of historical places and to showcase the areas history both through native eyes and western eyes.

    1. How wonderful! The only way to find out if you can make this happen is to talk with your local museum (in this case the Gallatin County Historical Society) and see what they say. We would be happy to consult.

  2. Martha, thanks so much for posting about History Unfolded! We're delighted to see the reach of the project extended, and hope to have some substantial Montana involvement in the project. We left beta about a month ago--the project will be in its current form for the next two years.

    How did you discover the project? We'd like to be able to tell our Marketing team. :) If you or your readers have questions, feel free to contact me at efrankle@ushmm.org.

    Elissa Frankle
    History Unfolded Project Lead