2 Replies Latest reply on May 11, 2016 5:57 AM by Carol Buswell

    How do I find records of  minorities and ethnic groups to include in my curriculum?


      I often find that records of minorities and ethnic groups are missing in my regular classroom materials.  What would be the easiest way for me to find records to include in a history, social studies, language arts, or even a STEM curriculum?

        • Re: How do I find records of  minorities and ethnic groups to include in my curriculum?

          Hi Kellie -


          You might try DocsTeach, the National Archives online tool for teaching with primary source materials.


          Some topics that may be interest:

          The Struggle for Rights in America (which would include topics like slavery, racism, citizenship, and immigration)

          Teach about Native Americans in History


          Here are two examples of some science-based pages:

          Birth of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

          History Can Be Delicious!


          Those are just a few examples. You can also create your own activity which includes any number of documents, images, or videos that offer glimpses of American historical topics through the different types of topics. There's everything from a video on the history of NASA's role in the exploration of space to a document of enrollment for the Cherokee Census.


          Best of luck including a variety of opinions and communities within your classroom!

          2 people found this helpful
          • Re: How do I find records of  minorities and ethnic groups to include in my curriculum?

            1) The quickest way is to use a DocsTeach document search to find materials on your subject or time-period.  http://docsteach.org/documents  DocsTeach is meta-tagged with subject words to make the document easier to find in “Search” and can be sorted by historical Era in “Browse.” 


            2) If you have time, you can search the online catalog at https://catalog.archives.gov/ keeping several things in mind about archival records.

                 a) Descriptions and titles of individual documents or groups of documents do not always contain the exact word you are using in your search so try several different words.  For instance, “relocation” works better than “internment.”  Try to be general.  Often descriptions are about groups of records.  Personal names don’t always work unless the person was famous, but occasionally you get lucky.


                 b) The National Archives holds records of FEDERAL government agencies only.  Records of ethnic groups and minorities are often dispersed among the  records of each Federal agency, particularly for groups such as African Americans, Jewish Americans, Muslim Americans, etc., requiring a “deep dig” into the records not described directly in the Online Catalog. 

            Some notable exceptions to this rule are
                                   * Chinese Exclusion records in Record Group 85, Records of the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization.
                                   *Records of Native Americans are most often found in Record Group 75, Bureau of Indian Affairs.
                                   *Records of Japanese Internment Camps (WWII) are found in Record Group , Records of the Japanese Relocation Authority.

                     c) The National Archives holds about 24 BILLION documents in its many facilities across the United States.  Only a small fraction of NARA documents are scanned and online.  Just over 8,400 documents are in DocsTeach at this writing. Probably about 1-2 million more documents are in the online catalog.  Maybe as many as  3-4 million more have been scanned by commercial and not-for-profit websites, such as Ancestry.com, Fold3.com, Heritage Quest Online (Library Only),  and FamilySearch.org. 

                      d)  Scanning documents to the Online Catalog and DocsTeach is ongoing.  Keep coming back!

            2 people found this helpful