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Close-up of the bull seal from the Indus Valley Civilization

A History of the World in 100 Objects

Review
Overall A History of the World in 100 Objects is a great resource to teach world history through visual culture in an accessible and succinct format for both school and college-level classes.
Painting of a Spanish Galleon at sea firing its canons

A Naval Encounter between Dutch and Spanish Warships

Source

Spanish galleons were large ships specifically built to carry a huge amount of cargo across the vast distances of the Spanish maritime empire. The Manila Galleon Trade is a common topic in world history courses and represents the first truly global trade in world history. The manila galleons, specifically, could reach over 160ft in length. Interestingly, due to a number of environmental,... Read More »

Gold sculpture of a bird with it's head turned backwards

Akan Gold-Weight in the Shape of the Sankofa Bird

Source

These intricate figurines, made by skilled West African smiths, were measuring instruments central to world flows of capital and commerce through medieval and early modern times.

West Africa was one of the world’s main sources of gold from antiquity onwards. Keeping the location of the region’s gold-fields secret, the great empires of ancient Ghana (6th - 13th century), Mali (c. 1240-... Read More »

Al-Idrisi's World Map

Source

The Nuzhat al-mushtāq fī ikhtirāq al-āfāq, most commonly known in the West as the Tabula Rogeriana ("The Book of Roger" in Latin), is a manuscript created by the Arab geographer Muhammad al-Idrisi that contains a highly detailed, partial-world map and extensive descriptions of the seven climate zones represented on the map. Depicting the Eurasian continent and North Africa, Al-... Read More »

Phelps mourning embroidery from American Centuries' collections.  It shows two people visiting a grave flanked by weeping willows.

American Centuries

Review
A section of the site called "In the Classroom" offers numerous lesson plans for elementary and middle-school teachers, some written by museum employees and some by schoolteachers themselves, using materials in the online exhibits.
Thumbnail of medical drawing

An Inquiry into the Causes and Effects of the Variolae Vaccinae

Source

Edward Jenner (1749-1823) was a physician in rural Gloucestershire. Like Lady Mary Wortley Montagu he learnt of a widely known folk remedy to protect against smallpox. Smallpox cases were increasing in the 18th century and had a mortality rate of 40%. At least 30% of those who survived were left horribly scarred. Smallpox was a disease of children and youth in particular. However, dairymaids... Read More »

Ptolemy's Map displays a out of proportion western Europe, Mediterranean, and North Africa.

Analyzing Maps

Methods

The map is one of the oldest forms of nonverbal communication. Humans were probably drawing maps before they were writing texts. Mapmaking may even predate formal language. As far as historians and geographers can determine, every culture in every part of the world uses and makes maps. This deep lineage reflects the descriptive usefulness of a map—a map is one of the best proofs that a “... Read More »

Anonymous Portrait

Source

This image depicts an unnamed man with a mustache. It dates from approximately 1880, according to the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia de México, where it resides. The exact origin of this image, or its connection to nineteenth-century Mexican life, remains unclear. However, the document leaves several clues to the identity of the subject. For example, inscriptions on the border... Read More »

Apollo 11 Moonwalk

Source

Look at this famous photograph of the July 1969 moon landing. When we look at an image like this, historians ask not only what the image shows us, but also how the image was used and how various audiences reacted to it. On the one hand, the photograph itself represented a triumph of technology. Minimally speaking, U.S. technology met the challenge of preserving film against the high... Read More »

Chart of Arms Reduction in Eastern Europe

Arms Reduction in Eastern Europe

Source

Once in power, Mikhail Gorbachev began a reform process that followed two paths: perestroika (restructuring) and glasnost' (openness). In order to reform the Soviet economy, Gorbachev believed it was necessary to cut spending on the Soviet military, both inside Soviet borders and throughout Eastern Europe. In both 1986 and 1987, Gorbachev proposed army reductions in summit meetings with... Read More »

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