National Archives puts 3,000 historic documents online

George Washington's draft of the constitution, cancelled check for the purchase of Alaska among treasures available at DocsTeach.org website

The National Archives has created a new online public website that features more than 3,000 historic documents, photos and videos available for download, along with applications for teachers to create and share history lessons about the items, officials announced.

The new website, DocsTeach.org, offers historic items such as a short newsreel of American war planes attacking Japan in 1944, photos of President Jimmy Carter’s inauguration and a court document on the conviction of activist Susan B. Anthony for voting before it was legal for women to vote.


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The site was developed with the nonprofit Foundation for the National Archives and Second Story Interactive, and is supported by Texas Instruments, according to a Sept. 20 news release.

The site includes several online tools to help students develop critical thinking about history, along with puzzles, maps and flow charts, and allows teachers to share lessons they have developed with the material.

“DocsTeach.org is a significant and welcome addition to our popular education programs,” Archivist of the United States David Ferriero said. “It will engage teachers and students in new ways and stir their interest in history through the use of original documents in the National Archives. It is also consistent with our goals to make as much of our holdings available to the public as easily as possible.”

Other primary source documents available to view or download include George Washington’s draft of the Constitution, the canceled check to pay for Alaska, pilot Chuck Yeager’s notes on the first supersonic flight made by him, and President Richard Nixon’s resignation letter.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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