Thursday Links Round Up: finding primary sources for history and art

Let Google bring the world to your students

finding primary sources for history and artPrimary sources? Yes please!

As you delve into your various teaching units, why not take your students on a visual tour of an event in history? Or to the Museum of Modern Art to see Van Gogh’s Starry Night? Or to a remote village in Japan? How about a street view virtual experience of Stonehenge? Finding primary sources for history and art can be a challenge, unless you’re using Google Cultural Institute.

Google Cultural Institute limits the exhibits featured on their site to an “invite only” status, partnering with select museums and archive locations throughout the world. For even more access to art and exhibits, Google has created Google Open Gallery. This site grants museums and galleries that are not featured on its more exclusive Cultural Institute site, an opportunity to showcase their work. Check out the Belgian Comic Strip Center as one of the unique museums that viewers can visit through Open Gallery!

What We’re Exploring…

Google Cultural Institute


Art Project

Google Art Project is a means for viewing exquisite and famous works of art right on the museum floor…virtually. Try pairing your history lessons with a cultural support materials from the time period. Search by collection, artist, or gallery and explore masterpieces in the most up close detail or on the gallery floor through virtual tours. The plethora of art is unbelievable and could keep your students researching for hours.

finding primary sources for history and art Historic Moments

Through photographs, letters, video footage, and accompanying text, Google Historic Moments transports you into the time period of your choice.

Explore “Favorite Technologies of the 50s” and learn about the first televisions, washing machines and the introduction of nylon into clothing. Or view Louis Bleroit’s ingenuity as he tweaked and built airplane after airplane, finally culminating in his epic flight across the English Channel. Experience the energy and bravery of the Civil Rights’ Movement as you read about events, protests, the March on Washington and the eventual passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

finding primary sources for history and art World Wonders

Explore some of the most beautiful and intriguing places in the world through the “World Wonders” section of Google Cultural Institute. As you scroll through photos of various places, an interactive google map shows viewers the exact location, as well as marking the map with nearby wonders for you to explore — there’s even a street view.

Equally amazing, all of these locations seem to be basking in a beautiful spring day with blue skies and not a cloud in sight…

  • Click on “locations” on the top menu bar to view the 173 locations featured on a world map or choose “collections” to see each categorized by topic.
  • Using the “My Galleries” feature, you can also create your own project by clicking the “Saved +” feature on the lower toolbar of each page. Either drag photos into the space or click the + on each photo to create your own gallery. You can then add text to photos or link to a YouTube video, and then share your gallery creation.

And as if that is not enough, Google has also prepared a section for educators providing activity ideas, lesson plans, and worksheets available for free download.

It’s official… I’m kind of in love with this site.

What We’re Watching…

The Google Cultural Institute contains hundreds of videos depicting primary sources from history and art. The only known film images of Anne Frank, for example. Actual footage of the Hungarian Supreme Court reversing its treason verdict against Imre Nagy and his colleagues. An entire collection of British artists interacting with exhibits at the Tate Modern.

And this recording of a performance by Bangalore Nagrathamma, an Indian Carthic singer, scholar and women’s rights activist who passed away in 1952. Enjoy.


5 thoughts on “Thursday Links Round Up: finding primary sources for history and art”

  1. Me encanta toda la historia japonesa, de hecho siempre que puedo intento aprender algo sobre ello y me encanta compartir sitios que ayudan a conoce rmejor japon. Gracias por hablar de japon aunque fuese un poquito

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