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Students As Historians

This feature presents examples of the kinds of projects history students, from high school to graduate school, have done on the Internet. Projects range from oral histories or prose with Web links to visual essays or exhibits. Browse the full list below or go to our full search feature that allows you to locate student projects quickly by topic, time period, or keyword. Read our guidelines for information on adding your students’ projects to this feature.

There are 25 matching records, sorted by time period. Displaying matches 1 through 25 .


students
The Capitol Project (University of Virginia)
The Capitol Project is an infinitely extensible exploration of the National Capitol as an American icon—the cathedral of our national faith, the map of our public memory, and the monument to our official culture. University of Virginia students and faculty have created a virtual tour, pages on specific presidents and periods in the Capitol’s history and floorplans and maps.
Resources Available: TEXT, IMAGES.

students
The Arkansas Memory Project
The Arkansas Memory Project is an archive of Arkansas History research and teaching materials produced by Arkansas high school students. Begun in the summer of 1998, it was modeled after the American Memory Collection of the Library of Congress. The student projects include collections of official documents, publications, maps, letters, narratives, recordings, photographs, art, and other artifacts from Arkansas. Designed as the culminating activity for a year-long study of historiography and the use of primary sources, students collected primary source materials from their families or local communities and analyzed the interplay between American, Arkansas, and local/personal history. The mission of the class was to produce materials that can be used in other Arkansas’ schools.
Resources Available: TEXT, IMAGES.

students
“Roots” Papers from SUNY-Binghamton
In his undergraduate survey course on immigration and ethnicity in American life at the State University of New York at Binghamton, Professor Thomas Dublin requires students to write “roots” papers exploring their own ethnic identities and those of their families. Exemplary “roots” papers are posted on the course website, and the specific assignment can be found under “papers.”
Resources Available: TEXT, IMAGES, AUDIO.

students
Reel American History
Prof. Edward J. Gallagher and students at Lehigh University.
Reel American History contains resources created by students for the study of films about American history. The site aims to stimulate students to think critically about the ways movies construct our history, to consider how the “reel” makes the “real”. The site contains student authored in-depth case studies on twenty-five films; guidelines for students undertaking similar projects; a note to teachers suggesting five ways to use the site, as well as a syllabus and assignment library; and resources, including bibliographies, filmographies, and a glossary of critical terms. Teachers anywhere are welcome to contact the site about adding their students’ work.
Resources Available: TEXT, IMAGES.

students
Akron Women’s History
This site was created by the Women’s History Project of the Akron Area (WHP) and students from The University of Akron’s School of Communication. It consists primarily of profiles of women in Akron history, organized by name, time period, and area of contribution to Akron’s civic life. The site also includes quizzes, photos, and an interactive map of the city. Students designed the site, conducted all of the necessary research, wrote the profiles, and created the quizzes and other kid-friendly material on the site.
Resources Available: TEXT, IMAGES.

students
Valley of the Shadow Student Projects
These projects were created by six teams of students at the University of Virginia in a course titled “Digital History and the American Civil War.” The projects are fully developed web sites that include letters, photographs, diaries, and records of the Civil War in the two counties explored in the Valley of the Shadow site, Augusta County, Virginia and Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Topics include the home front in Augusta and Stanton counties, the Freedmen’s Bureau in Augusta County, the 77th Pennsylvania infantry, the U.S. colored troops of Franklin County, and letters and diaries of Augusta and Franklin County residents.
Resources Available: TEXT, IMAGES.

students
Profile of the Potomac Soldier, 1861–1865
This site was created by David Smith, a student in Professor Michael Ebner’s History 300 (Theory & Methods) course at Lake Forest College. In History 300, a required course for third-year history majors, each student must construct a Web site based upon his or her major research project for the semester. This site contains text, images, links, and an annotated bibliography on the experiences of ordinary Civil War soldiers. Smith is now a graduate student in U.S. history at Northwestern University.
Resources Available: TEXT, IMAGES.

students
The Politics of Barbarism: Abraham Lincoln and the American Indians
This site was created by Amanda MacKinnon, a student in Professor Michael Ebner’s History 300 (Theory & Methods) course at Lake Forest College. In History 300, a required course for our third-year majors, each student must construct a Web site based upon his or her major research project for the semester. This site contains text, images, links, and an annotated bibliography that explore Abraham Lincoln’s attitudes and policies toward American Indians, including a consideration of how Lincoln’s involvement in the Black Hawk War of 1832 shaped his ideas about American Indians and the relationship of Lincoln’s attitudes toward African Americans and his attitudes toward American Indians.
Resources Available: TEXT, IMAGES.

students
The Centennial Exhibition of 1876: A Material Culture Study by Villanova University Students
This site was created by students at Villanova University as a course project for Professor Charlene Mires’ HIS 2998 “Topics In History: Material Culture,” during the Fall Semester of 1998. After a series of readings in the methodology of material culture studies, the students embarked on a study of the material culture of the Centennial Exhibition, held in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park in 1876. The site contains richly illustrated essays on a wide variety of topics related to the material culture of the Exhibition, including the representation of different national cultures such as Japan, Russia, Spain, Sweden, England, and Egypt; the ways African Americans were included and excluded from the Exhibition; and diverse subjects such as musical instruments, fashion, industrialization, and the American flag.
Resources Available: TEXT, IMAGES.

students
Harrisburg’s Old Eighth Ward
This project was created by students in the American Studies program at Pennsylvania State University at Harrisburg, under the direction of Professor Michael Barton. The site was designed and is maintained by Stephanie Patterson Gilbert. For the project, college seniors and graduate students conducted primary source local history research on the Eighth Ward, a multi-ethnic, working-class neighborhood that existed near Harrisburg’s Capitol in the nineteenth and early twentieth century and was demolished between 1912 and 1920 as part of the city’s Capitol Park Extension. The site showcases student work on the project while attempting to re-create the neighborhood on the web. In addition to student research papers, the impressively researched site includes a “virtual walking tour;” directories of neighborhood residents, businesses, and institutions; maps; photos; and links to related sites.
Resources Available: TEXT, IMAGES.

www.historystudents
FDR Cartoon Archive
Niskayuna High School, New York.
A continuing project of high school history and science classes, this site presents thousands of political cartoons concerning the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Selected from the collection at the Hyde Park Presidential Library of Basil O’Conner—Roosevelt’s New York City law partner—the materials are arranged into eight subject categories and often include brief background essays and questions designed to prompt further inquiries. Periods currently emphasized include 1932, “The Road to Pennsylvania Avenue”; 1937, “The Supreme Court”; and 1943, “The War Years.” Well-conceived and executed, the site also gives the texts of Roosevelt’s inaugural addresses and a page of teacher resources and suggested projects.
Resources Available: TEXT, IMAGES.
Website last visited on 2003-11-20.

www.historystudents
America in the 1930s
University of Virginia.
This site was created in June 1998 for the American Studies Program at the University of Virginia. The project views the 1930s through the lenses of its films, radio programs, literature, journalism, museums, exhibitions, architecture, art, and other forms of cultural expression. The site is not complete and links to the film clips do not work, but there are 11 radio shows, six comic strips, and additional visual images and text that are useful primary sources for students of the 1930s.
Resources Available: TEXT, IMAGES, AUDIO.
Website last visited on 2003-11-13.

students
Bland County History Archives Project
Students at Rocky Gap (VA) High School.
Students in U.S. History and Local History and Technology classes at Rocky Gap High School, located in southwestern Virginia, document the impact of the Great Depression in their community, using oral histories, photographs, and other primary documents. This ongoing place-based education program (eight years and counting) has grown to include over 300 interviews, over 80 cemetery catalogs, and 700 plus photos. All this material is in searchable databases.
Resources Available: TEXT, IMAGES.

students
The Magpie Sings the Great Depression: Selections from DeWitt Clinton High School’s Literary Magazine, 1929–1941
Part of the New Deal Network site, this exhibit presents student work both old and new, with an archive of 1930s selections from a Bronx high school literary magazine alongside evidence of the process and outcome of contemporary student work with these historical documents. The site includes 175 poems, articles, and short stories and 270 graphics and photographs from The Magpie. These remarkable resources provide articulate and observant youthful voices on a history usually told by adults, and topics range from the everyday of classrooms, friendships, and family to reports on visits to the Jim Crow South and interwar Europe. The essay by teacher Eileen O’Farrell on her work with current DeWitt Clinton students, whose document-based essays using The Magpie are also include on the site, is highly thoughtful and useful for other teachers contemplating similar projects.
Resources Available: TEXT, IMAGES.

students
Jukin’ It Out: Contested Visions of Florida in New Deal Narratives
Juliet Gorman, Oberlin ’01.
A senior honors project at Oberlin College, this conceptually sophisticated site explores issues of narrative and representation in two New Deal cultural projects. Gorman uses the 1939 WPA guide to Florida and FSA-sponsored documentary photography from the period, in particular photographs of “jook joints,” to investigate such themes as local color writing, documentary photography, and tour guides as modes of communication, all within the context of key intellectual and cultural concepts that marked the 1930s. The site includes a thoughtful analysis of why and how to write history in hypertext.
Resources Available: TEXT, IMAGES.

www.historystudents
The Whole World Was Watching: An Oral History of 1968
South Kingston High School and Brown University Scholarly Technology Group.
This site contains transcripts, audio recordings, and edited stories from interviews, conducted in the spring of 1998 by sophomores at South Kingstown High School, with 31 Rhode Islanders about their recollections of the year 1968. These narratives, including references to the Vietnam War, Civil Rights movement, and the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, as well as personal memories, are a living history of one of the most tumultuous years in United States history. The project includes a glossary, timeline, and bibliography of reference, as well as notes from the project coordinators about oral history in the classroom.
Resources Available: TEXT, AUDIO.
Website last visited on 2000-10-05.

students
Vietnam, The Never Ending War
For this project, juniors at San Mateo (CA) Middle College high school interviewed relatives who had some connection to the war in Vietnam (including soldiers, conscientious objectors, students, and nurses) and wrote up the interviews in the style of Studs Terkel’s The Good War. The site also contains brief essays on some long-term effects of the war on health (Agent Orange sickness), psychology (post-traumatic stress syndrome), immigration, and culture.
Resources Available: TEXT.

students
The Modern Presidency
This site was created by freshmen enrolled in Mr. Michael Hutchison’s Introduction to Social Science class at Vincennes Lincoln High School, Vincennes, Indiana, in 1997. Students used the Discovery Channel School series, “The Modern Presidency” to research twentieth-century presidents and worked in small groups to create web pages on presidents from Franklin Roosevelt to Ronald Reagan.
Resources Available: TEXT, IMAGES.

students
Telling the Story: The History of the Amsterdam Houses
This site uses oral histories and research in unpublished documents to demonstrate the historical significance of New York City’s Amsterdam Houses, an early public housing project. It was created by students in Professor Fritz Umbach’s “Public Housing: Promises, Priorities, Perspectives” course, part of the college’s Freshman Year Experience Service Learning Program. Students partnered with the preservation group Landmark West! to research the historical significance of the Amsterdam Houses and assist LMW! in making the case for landmark status for the complex.
Resources Available: TEXT, IMAGES.

students
Imagine: A Students Forum for Studying the Holocaust
The Cybrary of the Holocaust offers an extensive archive of documents relating to the victims and survivors of the Holocaust and a special student forum section. The student work ranges from poetry to paintings and from historical essays to family interviews.
Resources Available: TEXT, IMAGES, AUDIO.

students
What Did You Do In The War Grandma? An Oral History of Rhode Island Women During World War II
South Kingstown High School.
This website was written by students in the Honors English Program at South Kingstown High School and posted on the Web in conjunction with Brown University and the Northeast Regional Technology in Education Consortium (NetTech). In this project, 17 students interviewed 36 Rhode Island women who recalled their lives in the years before, during and after the Second World War. Here are 26 of the stories told by the women, and retold by the students.
Resources Available: TEXT.

students
Daughters of the Dust
This page was created by Heather Sullivan and Jennifer Puma, students of Professor Gloria Harper Dickinson in African American Studies at The College of New Jersey. The site is a detailed analysis of the film Daughters of the Dust (1991), with a range of information including a filmography, synopsis, glossary, scene log, key passages, scene analysis, reviews, historical context, filmic context, comparisons to other films, photos, audio clips, and a student-authored "issue essay."
Resources Available: TEXT, IMAGES.

students
Sankofa
This page was created by Becky Costantino, Edgar Sanchez and Tasmia Shariff, students of Professor Gloria Harper Dickinson in African American Studies at The College of New Jersey. The site is a detailed analysis of the film Sankofa (1993), with a range of information including a filmography, synopsis, glossary, scene log, key passages, scene analysis, reviews, historical context, filmic context, comparisons to other films, photos, audio clips, and a student-authored "issue essay."
Resources Available: TEXT, IMAGES, AUDIO.

students
American History on the World Wide Web
Students at University of Sydney, Australia.
These projects are the work of students from HSTY3080 American History on the World Wide Web II, the second part of a two semester Honours seminar taught by Stephen Robertson, in the Department of History at the University of Sydney, in 2002. Students were required to choose a topic and create a Web site based on primary sources. They had to provide contexts for the sources that they chose, and to develop a design that made use of the unique character of hypertext, and of links in particular, to promote understanding and interpretation of that material. The resulting projects cover Richard Nixon, Dizzy Gillespie, the Motion Picture Code, the Louisiana Purchase, the JFK Assassination, the F.B.I.’s Mafia Monograph, the Iran-Contra Scandal, the 1992 Los Angeles Riots, the Triangle Fire, the integration of Central High School, Robert Kennedy, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the U.S. State Department response to the Holocaust.
Resources Available: TEXT, IMAGES.

www.historystudents
Doing Oral History: An oral history project of the American Century for the 21st century
Glenn Whitman, St. Andrew’s Oral History Project, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School.
A collection of 17 oral histories conducted by secondary students focusing on topics relating to “The American Century”: World War II; the Cold War; Vietnam; the “rights revolution”; immigration; education; and science and technology. Each oral history entry contains a biography of the interviewee, historical contextualization and evaluation essays, and bibliography. The site provides tools for teachers to use in designing oral history courses: release form for interviewees, pre-interview worksheet, “do’s and don’ts,” guidelines for transcribing and editing interviews, how to analyze the historical value of an interview, grading rubrics, and student feedback. Also offers a 36-title bibliography, including 24 links to related sites. Of interest to teachers preparing oral history courses and for those studying selected 20th-century American history topics.
Resources Available: TEXT.
Website last visited on 2002-03-08.