Thanks to the excellent schools in Clarkstown, we librarians have faced many challenges in helping our students. We have dealt with numerous difficult assignments over the years, involving the Supreme Court, the penal code, shark taxonomy and those ever-popular math honor reports. An important part of a librarian's job is to see that we have sufficient materials to supply to students so that they can successfully complete their work. It is important that we provide that support for students who come to us for help, and we take thiis responsibility very seriously.
One challenge that we all enjoy comes with National History Day. I have always been amazed by the enthusiasm and scholarship shown by the kids who participate in this event. However, a large part of National History Day is that the students must use primary sources. What is a primary source? A primary source is a document, speech, or other sort of evidence written, created or otherwise produced during the time under study. Primary sources offer an inside view of a particular event. Examples include: Autobiographies, diaries, e-mail, interviews, letters, minutes, news film footage, official records, photographs, raw research data, speeches. This is not too difficult if it is an event that occurred in the 20th century. However some students choose topics that will have a dearth of primary sources, so that is where our databases come in. Our newest selection is from Infobase Learning and is called Ancient and Medieval History Online . It covers nine civilizations, ancient Egypt, ancient Mesopotamia, ancient Greece, ancient Rome, ancient and medieval Africa, medieval Europe, the Americas, ancient and medieval Asia and Islamic Empire. Starting from prehistory through the 1500s, it includes biographies, events and topics, timelines, image and video galleries, and of course, primary sources. If you take a look at Ancient and Medieval history Online, you will be impressed by the breadth of information. Because it is multi-media you can enjoy their wonderful videos. You can take a stroll through the burial chamber of Ramses II, or watch the ancient art form of Chinese opera. There is so much to like in this database. Primary sources, of course, are in there. You can read the correspondence between Emperor Trajan and Pliny, the Edict of Milan, an eyewitness account of the Cremation of Strasbourg Jewry in 1349, and many other fascinating documents. How can you not say, this is better than google?