Hemispheres Receives Grant from the Library of Congress

Tue, October 25, 2011

We are pleased to report that the Hemispheres has received a grant from the Library of Congress (LOC) for the 2011-2012 program year. Hemispheres, the consortium that consists of the outreach programs of the Center for European Studies, the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, the Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies, and the South Asia Institute, works with K-12 educators and curriculum specialists to provide training and materials for classroom use.

This grant, awarded through the LOC’s Teaching with Primary Sources Western Regional Center (TPS), is the first of its kind to focus on world cultures, world history, and world geography; until now TPS has awarded grants that focus on American history, law, economics, and state-specific programs such as Texas history. 

The TPS Western Regional Center, based at the Metropolitan College of Denver, aims to develop a network of educators across fourteen western states that will assist teachers from the pre-service and K-12 levels as well as those at the university level in accessing and using digitized primary source materials housed at the Library of Congress (LOC) and on its affiliated Web sites. TPS grants provide funding for institutions to select some of these primary source documents--books, journals, manuscripts, maps, prints and photographs, films, and sound recordings--and develop contextualization materials for them. These materials help educators understand the significance of the documents and provide historical context. They also offer suggestions on appropriate classroom usage and align the documents with educational and testing standards.

The grant awarded to Hemispheres focuses primarily on resources housed in the World Digital Library (WDL), a cooperative project of the Library of Congress, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and partner libraries, archives, and educational and cultural institutions from the United States and around the world. The WDL brings together rare and unique documents that tell the story of the world’s cultures on a single Web site. 

Under this new grant, Hemispheres offered a two-day master teachers’ workshop in early August 2011 that brought together a core group of educators and curriculum specialists from around Texas with master trainers from the TPS program to discuss the LOC resources and how to access them. The second day of the workshop involved hands-on work in which the attendees selected resources of particular interest and practiced developing contextualization materials.

The materials that were developed at this training event will be posted on the Hemispheres Web site, and distributed at a series of one-day workshops conducted by the Hemispheres staff on site around the state of Texas to familiarize more educators with the available resources and how to use them. Additional training events in Midland, and Longview/Kilgore are on the schedule for fall 2011, with at least two more expected for the spring.





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