One of my projects this summer has to do with the use of images in history classes: I’m trying to improve my teaching, and perhaps help others, by scanning pictures1 and identifying online sources for good images, as well as trying to figure out ways to do more with the images in the classroom. There’s been some great discussion of powerpoint and images in the classroom at Edge of the American West over the last week, the upshot of which is that images don’t really help all that much, unless you use them well. Not a surprising result, but the fact is that I use images sparingly in the classroom (and have never used powerpoint) because my training — and natural talents, I think — is heavily textual. I love a good map or chart, and I do use art in class both for cultural history and as historical documentation, but not enough. It’s not about “appealing to visual learners” as much as it is my belief that visual and physical materials are going to be increasingly important in historical analysis, both as sources and as forms of presentation. This isn’t cutting edge theory, or at least it shouldn’t be.
Anyway, that’s by way of preface for some of the stuff I hope to be posting here2 over the next few months: images from my collection, and discussions of what they might mean, historically and pedagogically; other resources for visual materials and commentary on potential uses; links to other discussions of visual analysis; that sort of thing.
So, here’s my first collection of links:
- The North American
ClearingCoordinating Council Japanese Image Use Guide is a great set of definitions and resources, especially for publication purposes. Their comparative discussion of copyright law is worth a quick look, even before you start thinking about publication.
- The Asian Art Museum of Tokyo (via pmjs) has a small online collection, but the commentary is solid and you can click through to some very high resolution and complete images, which is very unusual for museum sites.
- As noted here3 , the Tohoku modern map collection is a pretty rich source, though still spotty in places. There’s a bunch of interesting material which isn’t yet online, and the navigation is kind of finicky.
- The Gapminder World economic history animations are extremely cool, and fairly adaptable. It’s a bit of a time sink, though, I warn you: it’s a toy! I’m tempted to set my world history students loose on it, and see what happens.
- From the PMJS list, courtesy of Helen Moss, a wealth of material on historical hairstyles: Izutsu Costume Museum (which also has great material on clothing), Kushi Matsuri, and the ultimate source, the Nihongami Museum.
- I went looking for him and found Claremont Library Digital Resources Ukiyoe Page
- The Joseph Berry Keenan Digital collection at Harvard Law School, including photographs: aerial images of Hiroshima and Nagoya, village and temple scenes, and lots of meeting and banquet shots.
- Finally, a catalog of Educational and Cultural Video sites