Random Thoughts: Change, Primary Sources & Other Stuff

Posts Tagged ‘World History

castlerockPrimary sources all around us– often in the least expected places.  This was definitely the case when we toured Castlerock Museum in Alma, Wisconsin, a small Mississippi River town just a few miles from our home.  Castlerock is a new museum, built on a hillside and designed to  look like small castle.   What’s inside is unexpected.   Castlerock houses exhibits authentic arms and armor from the, Medieval and Renaissance eras.  Full suits of armor and individual helmets, swords, daggers, shields, chain mail and gauntlets are presented.  There is even a sword from the First Crusade. I was surprised to learn that the very a long swords weigh just a few pounds.  The largest single item is a life size replica of a horse dressed in a Victorian era reproduction of a horse’s armor.

A bone-chilling display features torture and execution devices. The display description explained that hanging was reserved for the lower class while beheading with a sword was reserved for nobility and upper class. The display brought to mind the moving sentence of death by hanging for Bardolph.  Shakespeare’s King Henry V performed at the Great River Shakespeare Festival this summer. Artifacts from the Romans, Greeks and Vikings, Vikings, and housewares are also housed in this specialized museum. Reproductions of period art and manuscripts enhance the displays.

The collection is a personal collection of Gary Schlosstein, an Alma resident who began collecting as a young boy.  He brought the world of medieval armor and the Battle of Agincourt to life at a Shakespeare festival presentation this summer.  The Castlerock visit added considerably to my theatre experience.  Castlerock is worth a visit and small enough so that you do not feel overwhelmed!   What a fun place to visit on a lovely summer day!  An added bonus is  the wonderful view of the Mississippi River and the bluffs of southeastern Minnesota.

The growing World Digital Library has several primary sources related to this interesting historical era.
Where can I find primary sources for my World History Classes?
How can I use primary resources in the media center and classroom to support student learning?
Teaching Digital Media Literacy in the Content Areas: Using Primary Sources 



I’m student teaching this semester. I’m looking for primary sources about world history. I don’t know where to start.

Teachers and media specialists looking for digital primary resources representing world history and cultures will be excited to learn about the World Digital Library, a collection of significant, multilingual resources. Primary sources from over 150  cultural institutions from throughout the world are accessible in one easy to search portal.

Curriculum ideas and more about finding these resources are in the New Media Center column published in the March/April issue of Internet @ Schools.  The column is available via Ebsco or this Power of Primary Sources page.

WDL is growing.  Recently added are several issues of Layla, the first women’s magazine published Iraq.

Background information about WDL, January 2013 post. 

Educators looking for digital primary resources representing world history and cultures will be excited to learn about a growing collection of significant, multilingual resources accessible through the World Digital Library, a Library of Congress global partnership resource.

World Digital Library MapAn interactive  world map on the launch page has thumbnails representing 9 geographic regions. Each image invites browsing through thousands of manuscripts, maps, rare books, musical scores, recordings, films, prints, photographs, and architectural drawings.  Search by topic, region, time period or in one of 7 languages.  Over 40 world languages are represented in the artifacdts.  WDL is a great source for discovering resources for world history and cultures, foreign language, United States History and world literature.  Click the map to begin exploring.  It’s that easy!

How can I  use primary resources like these in the media center and classroom or to support Common Core Standards?
Teaching Digital Media Literacy in the Content Areas: Using Primary Sources 
See what former students have to say


The Interesting History of Prince Lee Boo, Brought to England from the Pelew Islands

The book tells the story of Captain Henry Wilson’s shipwreck on Palau and his subsequent encounter with the Palauan people, one of whom, a young prince named Lee Boo, later came to England with Wilson. Prince Lee Boo was one of the first Pacific Islanders to visit Great Britain, and his life and untimely death, only five months after his arrival in London, captured the imagination of the British, and wider European and American, audiences. This work was so popular that between 1789 and 1850, more than 20 English and a dozen foreign-language editions were published in different countries.  Listen to information about this artifact! View the book and Bibliographic record
World Digital Library: http://www.wdl.org
About the WDL:  http://www.wdl.org/en/about/

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