Ever since I switched over to PowerPoint lectures for my survey class (all images with minimal text, of course) a few years ago, I’ve been constantly on the prowl for better images than the ones I find using Google Images and little else. Last week in DC, I went to presentations on two government sites designed for teachers that I’ve just started exploring.
The first is Picturing America from the National Endowment for the Humanities. It covers about 40 historic images (including more than a few which can’t possibly be in the Public Domain). I just put three slides into my presentations using the disc I got from the presenters, but the images have to be up on the web site somewhere!
That site is probably best for secondary school teachers who want to add art to their classes, but Teaching With Historic Places from the National Parks Service definitely works at all levels. Here is the link to their lesson plans dealing with historic sites around the country, organized by time periods from pre-contact to the recent past. The key to understanding this effort is that the National Parks Service has one of the largest collections of historic materials in the whole government because every site it operates has stuff that goes with it. I’ve just started mining the images there (including the shot of the Battle of Midway above) but have barely scratched the surface. I get the feeling this one may turn out to be almost as good as finding another American Memory.