Teaching History with Electronic Resources

  • Raid on Deerfield: The Many Voices of 1704. This is an amazing website that provides documents, artifacts and other aspects of the famous Deerfield raid, as well as the perspectives of all the peoples involved.
  • Seventeenth-Century Colonial New England, with Special Emphasis on the Essex County Witch-Hunt of 1692. This web site is an excellent starting point. It contains descriptions and links to hundreds of sites in early New England.
  • Mashantucket Pequot Museum The museum is wonderful. If you can't get there, at least visit the neat web site.
  • Archaeology Comes to the Rescue of a Seventeenth-Century Shipwreck  A comprehensive web site of the Parks Canada excavations of the Elizabeth and Mary, the ship carrying the Dorchester militia that was lost in the 1690 Invasion of Canada.
  • Hawthorne in Salem This NEH-funded web site obviously focuses a bit later than the colonial era. However, it includes many earlier materials, since much of it is devoted to Hawthorne's writing about early New England. Includes many objects, maps, and even scholarly essays.
  • DoHistory  An NEH funded web site, which shows how to "do" history, using the case study of Martha Ballard, the ca. 1800 midwife whose diary formed the basis of Laurel Ulrich's pulitzer-prize winning book,  and popular PBS video, The Midwife's Tale.  Much of it is designed specially to be used by teachers and students. 
  •  Salem Witch Trials An amazing NEH funded site that contains searchable transcriptions of the withc trial documents, high quality color images of many of the papers, maps, and many other resources.
  • Plymouth Colony Archive Project This site contains much of the archaeological and material culture research of James Deetz, so if you like his books, you will love this site. Includes numerous complete probate inventories for Plymouth Colony. 
  • Colonial House web site The site associated with the PBS series of the same name, it contains background information from the show, images of the colonists and their village (including neat 360 degree panoramas of houses). It also contains materials for teachers, and can be usefully use in conjunction with a viewing of all or parts of the series.
  • Osher Map Library, University of Southern Maine 
  • Yale Map collection 
  • John Carter Brown Library Images of Early America

Museum Websites


How to Assess a Website

Your task is to go on-line on the World Wide Web and to write a detailed critique of a minimum of two historical web sites. Take sometime to check out a variety of sites, and find a least a couple that you like. In your reviews, be sure to give the site name, address, a general description of the content, and your editorial comments (why the site was effective or not, whether the information was accurate, how useful was it to our course, etc). Be sure to be critical in your analysis. Please try to pick a site that is large enough to really say something about. Specifically, your review should address the following:


What is the authority of the site? 

  • .edu - educational
  • .org - tends to be non-profit organization
  • .com - commercial
  • .net - network, also commercial
  • .gov - government

How credible is the site?

  • Can you tell who is responsible for the site? Who hosts it?
  • Is it a personal page, or an organization's page?
  • Does it give full names, and contact information?

What is the purpose of the site? Why was it created?

How current is the site information?            

  • Can you tell when it was last updated?
  • Do site links work?

What accurate is the site?

  • Does it cite its sources?
  • Does it have a bibliography, or other print sources?
  • Are there typos or grammatical errors?

What do other people think of the site?

  • Has it won any awards?
  • Is it reviewed by sites like the Merlot Project or Scout Report
  • How many sites link to it? (Go to google and type "link:" and the url).

Site Appearance and Layout

  • Is the site well organized? 
  • Are there navigation markers throughout?
  • Can you easily determine where the information you want is?
  • Does it have an effective front page? Does it provide a good site summary?
  • Does it attract your attention? 
  • Is the site visually appealing? 
  • Does it make sensible use of graphics? Does it have excessive "noise"?
  • Does it load in reasonable time? Does it have consistency of design?