The University of Alabama Libraries has adopted as one of its goals the provision of relevant and engaging information via the World Wide Web that will enhance the body of educational resources available to students in Alabama's primary and secondary schools. To address this goal, staff in the W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library created the CSS Alabama Digital Collection as a pilot project and cooperated with students in the School of Library and Information Studies in the construction of the Historic Postcards of Alabama resource. The objectives of both projects are twofold: (1) to create Web sites that teachers and students can use to promote learning, and (2) to foster the use of the Internet as an important educational tool. Teachers can use the suggested exercises, or employ their own creativity and expertise in order to help their students explore these resources for the study of history.
1. The Web provides an unprecedented means to expose more and younger Alabama students to primary source documents of enduring informational value. By reading these records, evaluating them as evidence, and interpreting their meaning under the guidance of experienced teachers, students develop critical thinking skills.
2. Students gain a more meaningful understanding of history when they learn from primary historical sources.
3. Advances in computer and telecommunications technologies continuously transform the national and global environments. To become competitive in these arenas, Alabama students need exposure to state-of-the-art information resources. Students who learn to use the World Wide Web as an educational resource early in their academic careers acquire valuable computer literacy and learning skills for the Information Age.
4. Alabama students should not only have access to the Web, they should also be assured that materials relevant and enriching to their courses of study are available there. The creation of such Web sites is a service that the W. S. Hoole Special Collections Library at the University of Alabama is uniquely positioned to provide.
Additional History Teaching Resources on the World Wide Web:
Alabama Department of Archives & History: Using Primary Sources in the Classroom
National Archives and Records Administration, The Digital Classroom
Library of Congress, American Memory Educators' Page
Special Collections Homepage | CSS Alabama Digital Collection | Historic Postcards of Alabama