A couple years ago, Larry Ferlazzo shared a hefty collection of ideas for how teachers can use photos in the classroom. Since then, I’ve been regularly incorporating a number of his activities into my writing lessons. I won’t bother to rehash all of Larry’s ideas here, but I do want to share a few of the websites where I find cool, and often strange, historical photos.
Retronaut is hands down one of my all-time favorite websites. I subscribe to the Retronaut newsletter, so every morning I receive an email with a new collection of historical photographs. It’s a great way to start the day, and even if I don’t plan on using photos in the lesson that day, I still choose a “photo of the day” so that students can look at it and discuss before we dive into our lesson.
Jones Photo Historical Collection houses four generations of the family-owned photographs. Most of what you’ll find on this site is from the 20th century, and although the collection is still a work in progress, viewers can currently browse over 10,000 photographs.
Critical Past is home to more than 57,000 historic clips and 7 million stills. Although you won’t be able to download these clips to your hard drive without paying for them, you can stream everything on the site for free.
Library of Congress is another place where you’ll find a nice collection of historical photographs. The Library’s Prints and Photographs Division houses over 14 million items, ranging from historical photographs and architectural drawings to advertising labels and posters from all over the world. You can find more than one million pictures among the digitized collections in the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog at the Library of Congress Web site.