History Comes Alive in the Platinum Age of Television

| By Mark Mikula | Media critic and commentator David Bianculli coined the term “Platinum Age of Television” to define the current broadcast landscape, beginning in the late 1990s, to distinguish it from the “Golden Age of Television” that produced such iconic series as I Love Lucy, Your Show of Shows, and The Honeymooners. In … Read more

Traveling through History: The Erie Canal

| By Traci Cothran | Confession: I have an Erie Canal fascination. This is, in part, geographically inspired—I grew up in upstate New York, home of this mega-tool of westward expansion, where you learn the Erie Canal song in elementary school (“We towed some barges in our day/Filled with lumber, coal, and hay/And we know … Read more

Scottish Romanticism and the Jacobites

| By Clematis Delany | A king without a throne, a dashing young prince, and an army of exiles. These basic components of Jacobitism – with some misty lochs, rugged Highlanders, scheming Catholics and royal courts thrown in – lend themselves perfectly to high Romance and adventure. It is no surprise then, that the Stuarts … Read more

Judging Detroit’s National History Day Competition

| By Traci Cothran | The National History Day competition is right up our alley here at Gale—it encourages students to use factual resources (especially primary resources) to create a documentary, performance, paper, website, or exhibit on a historical topic that fits with the overall competition theme. This year’s theme is Conflict and Compromise. I’ve … Read more

Robert Hart and the Chinese Maritime Customs Service

| By Richard Horowitz, Professor of History |

Richard Horowitz is a Professor of History at California State University. Trained as a historian of modern China, he subsequently developed a second specialization in the emerging field of World History. His research explores the intersection of China and processes of global integration from the 1820s to the 1920s. He teaches courses on China, Japan, World History, and historical methods.

This is an excerpt from an essay by Professor Richard S. Horowitz entitled “The Chinese Maritime Customs Service, 1854–1949: An Introduction”.

For almost a century, the Chinese Maritime Customs Service played a central role in the relationship between China and the global economy. The Customs Service was part of the Chinese Government, but it was led by foreigners. Technically, its role was limited to ensuring the accurate assessment of Customs duties (taxes on imports and exports). However, over time, it became involved in many activities including the maintenance of harbors and lighthouses, the payment of foreign loans, the preparation of a very wide range of published reports, and the provision of technical assistance to the Chinese Government. Customs officials were often involved in diplomatic discussions and served as informal intermediaries between Chinese officials and foreign representatives.

Read moreRobert Hart and the Chinese Maritime Customs Service

300 Years of Eclipse Intrigue: 8 Primary Sources

Across North America people are poking holes in shoe boxes and going store to store to scoop up the last pairs of specialty “eclipse glasses” off the shelves. All of this preparation is  for the solar eclipse that will cast the moons shadow on a path across the globe Monday, August 21st. While we have … Read more

New Curriculum Correlations in Smithsonian Primary Sources in U.S. History

Smithsonian Primary Sources in U.S. History now connects literary concepts to primary sources located in the product. Detailed curriculum correlations align the primary source to national social science and literary standards for easy-to-see application across subjects. Primary source materials greatly enrich learning for high school students by helping them develop critical thinking skills, pursue independent … Read more

A Remarkable Review for Smithsonian Primary Sources in U.S. History

History is not just a list of dates and events. But history taught well is vibrant, relevant, and engaging. And nothing brings history to life like primary sources that give students a close-up look at history as it unfolded.

Gale and Smithsonian have partnered to deliver an online resource that includes unique and seminal primary sources, including documents, maps, historical objects, and other materials from the museums and archives from the collections of the Smithsonian and from Gale’s leading digital collections: Smithsonian Primary Sources in U.S. History.

Designed for use by both teachers and librarians, this resource from Gale supports core and Advanced Placement U.S. history programs. Primary source images are hand-curated by scholars at the Smithsonian – experts who have a unique knowledge of U.S. history as seen through the Smithsonian’s valuable collections and shaped for the school curriculum by an advisory board of teachers.

See how a reviewer feels about the collection of Primary Sources:

Read moreA Remarkable Review for Smithsonian Primary Sources in U.S. History

The Woman Behind National Women’s History Month

Our understanding of history shapes the way we see the world and helps us define who we are as individuals. When Molly Murphy MacGregor was asked to define the women’s movement by one of her high school students in 1972 her search for an answer not only redefined her view of the world but helped redefine the … Read more

7 Primary Source Documents Related to Immigration and the ACLU

Since its inception the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has taken part in some of the most contentious legal battles in American history. The ACLU has once again become a central figure in a contentious legal battle following their objections to the recent Executive Order restricting immigration from 7 countries. The ACLU has a long history of fighting restrictions on immigration they deem in violation of civil liberties. The documents below found in the American Civil Liberties Union Papers, 1912-1990 are several examples of the ACLU’s past involvement in issues surrounding immigration.

Read more7 Primary Source Documents Related to Immigration and the ACLU