Primary Sources: K-12

Kelsey Conway spent her summer months as an intern with the Exhibition Program at the National Library of Medicine. She supported the program with its annual Teacher Institute, a program that brings educators together to review and develop educational resources for K-12 students. Learn more about her experience and this great program in Kelsey’s blog Primary Sources: K-12 on Catholic University’s blog from the Department of Library and Information Science.


As an intern in the History of Medicine Division of the National Library of Medicine, much of what I do relates to the digitization of analog materials. Digitization increases access when people who are unable travel to the physical item  can see the materials virtually from any computer. This is great news because getting information to researchers is of highest priority.

But the term “researcher” may conjure up a mental image that is not reflective of the demographic I personally consider the most interesting beneficiaries of digitized primary sources – K-12 students. How kids react to and learn from digitized historic materials is fascinating, as are the methods of presentation and usage employed by their teachers.

In late June, I had the opportunity to sit in on a workshop that focused on exactly this. Hosted by the Exhibition Program at the National Library of Medicine, the 2014 Teacher…

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