Federal Agency Educational Resources: Library of Congress

The Education Techie reviews tech tools and websites that can help students and teachers. This week, the Techie is taking a look at some of the online educational resources offered by federal agencies of the U.S. government. Today's article explores the website of the Library of Congress. Schools offering Archival Studies degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

library of congress logo

What Resources Are Available?

Anyone who has visited the Library of Congress (LOC) in Washington, D.C., knows that its main building, though strikingly beautiful, isn't big enough to contain the entire collection. Luckily, the Library has been taking steps to offer resources online, and its website now offers a great assortment of educational tools for teachers and students of all ages.

Content at the site includes digitized works from the collection, chat access to librarians, lesson planning resources for teachers, a kids' section and information about visiting the Library. While the website offers way more than can be covered here, below are some of the resources I found most interesting.

Poetry 180

Poetry 180 is a program developed in part by Billy Collins, a former U.S. Poet Laureate. The online initiative features access to 180 poems - one for each day of the school year. In addition to poems, the website features an introduction to the program (written by Collins) and a guide to reading poetry aloud. Collins is also the author of the first poem, Introduction to Poetry.

Prints and Photographs Online Catalog

The online print and photograph collection doesn't include all of the holding from the Library's Prints and Photographs division, but it is nonetheless quite large. This resource offers visitors access to more than 1.2 million digital copies of images from the collection. Though some images are provided only as thumbnails, others are available in a variety of sizes. The higher-quality images may be used for a variety of academic purposes.

libaray of congress prints and photographs online catalog

This part of the LOC's website is definitely useful for students and teachers, but it can also be a source of inspiration and entertainment for those not actively working on school projects. The collection features a wide variety of images ranging from Civil War photographs to pre-1915 art from Japan. In addition to prints and photographs, there are also images of drawings, baseball cards, posters and photographic negatives. It's a really impressive and fascinating collection.

Virtual Reference Shelf

Offering a variety of resources for online research, the Library's Virtual Reference Desk is a helpful tool for those seeking information in a multitude of subjects. Reference categories include law, maps, images, education, business, calculators, architecture, statistics, quotations and many others. The resources offered in these categories vary. As an example, the art section includes a link to an art thesaurus from the Getty Research Institute. In the grant resources section, there are links to a U.S. government grant website and external resources on grant writing.

Historic American Newspapers

A collaboration between the National Endowment for the Humanities and the LOC, this newspaper archive is officially called Chronicling America. The archive's website has a user-friendly design and offers visual and written information about American newspapers. The newspaper viewer offers archived images of papers ranging in date from 1860-1922. Only 22 states and the District of Columbia have papers featured in this visual archive, though there are plans to add more. The written information about newspapers casts a wider net, providing details like geographic coverage, publication dates and Library holding information of papers from the entire U.S. going back to 1690.

Where Can I Find These Resources?

Click here to check out Poetry 180, here to view the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog, here for the Virtual Reference Desk and here for Chronicling America. If you'd like to explore the Library's resources on your own, visit the Libaray of Congress Homepage.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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