Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Explore History

explore history - globe
There's just something exciting about history! Behind the dates and facts were, and are, real people who lived real lives. That's why it's so thrilling when history comes to life. What was it like to live during that time period? What were they thinking when they made that decision? Would things have been different today had certain events not happened? Where have we come from? What can we learn from yesterday that we can use to help us today? At MCPL we have a variety of ways that you can connect to and learn about fascinating people with fascinating lives.

founding fathers signing the Declaration of Independence
Did you know that with your MCPL library card you have online access to authoritative and informative history databases? We have History in Context (both U.S. and World History) and the History Reference Center databases with articles, primary source materials, maps, charts, and more. For African-American and African history be sure to have a look at the Oxford African American Studies Center. It includes articles, primary source documents, maps, charts, and timelines. We are also a partner on the Lincoln Park History Project to help find, document, and preserve the rich cultural heritage of one of Rockville's oldest African-American communities.

Challenger astronautsIf you want to learn about the fascinating lives of people who made history try Biography in Context. It provides articles from reference books and periodicals and is great for both searching and browsing. Don't have a specific person in mind? You can also search by occupation, nationality, dates, and more. If you are looking for a book or e-book to read, or an audiobook to listen to, MCPL has many engaging biographies and memoirs. Ask your local librarian or our What Do I Check Out Next librarians for biographies or memoirs that you would enjoy.

Bronze Star ceremonyWant to know what was reported on newsworthy historical events when they actually happened? Read articles from the Washington Post Historical going back as far as 1877. At the Rockville Memorial Library you can use their computers to access the New York Times Historical articles back to 1851. I know I have a sense of awe getting a chance to read the news and know what people living during that time actually read themselves.

Women aviators WWII
Want to explore your own personal history? Have a look at our genealogy online resources. HeritageQuest Online is a rich resource for genealogists, including Census and U.S. military records and over 25,000 full-text family and local histories. It includes PERSI, an index to genealogical magazines. Also included are helpful genealogy websites as well as sources to help you find obituaries and death notices.

civil rights march
Music is also a great way to get in touch with the past. We have streaming music from American Song that covers U.S. history from Native Americans to the Civil Rights era. For a more classical bent try the Classical Music Library and the Classical Scores Library.  Looking for some jazz? Try the Jazz Music Library.

navajo code talkersWe've got many engaging history books in print, e-book, and audiobook formats that are delightful as well as informative. Many of them are nonfiction that read like novels, but if you like to read fiction try a historical fiction book. These can be great at giving a taste of what the time period was like and some often have actual facts, or an event fictionalized, and interwoven into the story. Not sure where to get started? We've got suggestions!
Your local librarians and our What Do I Check Out Next librarians would love to help you find the type of history or historical fiction books about the time periods you are interested in.

Explore history to learn about fascinating lives and extraordinary events at MCPL today!


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