March 21, 2011

Awesome Stories: Stories and Primary Sources


Here is a great resource for student research projects:

AwesomeStories is a gathering place of primary-source information. Its purpose - since the site was first launched in 1999 - is to help educators and individuals find original sources, located at national archives, libraries, universities, museums, historical societies and government-created web sites.

Sources held in archives, which document so much important first-hand information, are often not searchable by popular search engines. One needs to search within those institutional sites directly, using specific search phrases not readily discernible to non-scholars. The experience can be frustrating, resulting in researchers leaving key sites without finding needed information.

AwesomeStories is about primary sources. The stories exist as a way to place original materials in context and to hold those links together in an interesting, cohesive way (thereby encouraging people to look at them). It is a totally different kind of web site in that its purpose is to place primary sources at the forefront - not the opinions of a writer. Its objective is to take the site's users to places where those primary sources are located.

The author of each story is listed on the preface page of the story. A link to the author provides more detailed information.

This educational teaching/learning tool is also designed to support state and national standards. Each story on the site links to online primary-source materials which are positioned in context to enhance reading comprehension, understanding and enjoyment.

AwesomeStories is available at

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