FACTS ON FILE WORLD GEOGRAPHY AND CULTURE ONLINE - A global approach to the study of countries, places, peoples, and geography concepts and skills. Select a country and click on 'Country News' in the left-hand menu to find out about current events in that country. If you're using FACTS ON FILE on your home computer, you'll have to enter your name, library card barcode, and PIN to begin.
America by the Numbers VIDEO - Companion site to the PBS documentary series which examines the dramatic demographic shifts currently taking place in the U.S. It reveals 'the human face of the biggest population change in U.S. history... using infographics, statistical analysis, in-depth reporting, and compelling storytelling.' You can watch full video episodes online. (2014, Futuro Media Group)
Census Briefs - Reports from the 2010 U.S. Census (titled 2010 Census Briefs) on various population groups, including American Indian & Alaska Native, Asian, Black, White, Hispanic, Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander, and Older Americans, plus related information. Reports are in PDF, about 20 pages each. This page also provides links to publications from previous censuses back to 1790, plus special collections & reports. High school and up. (US Census Bureau)
Diversity in Congress NEW! - Briefly summarizes the history of African-Americans in Congress, Hispanic Americans in Congress, and Women in Congress, with links to related material. Use the left-hand menu to choose a topic; high school and up. (Office of the Clerk, U.S. Capitol)
Ellis Island - Explores the history of the first Federal immigration station at Ellis Island. Statue of Liberty includes a short article about the statue's history, with pictures, statue facts, and more. (Statue of Liberty - Ellis Island Foundation)
Explaining Diversity [Archived page] - Different groups have different ways of responding to the common concerns of life: finding food and shelter, building relationships, defining ourselves, coming of age, forming communities, traveling from place to place-and many others. This site explores how the forces of environment, history, and creativity shape the varieties of human culture. (2007, Field Museum, Chicago)
Facing History and Ourselves NEW! AUDIO VIDEO - A large collection of learning resources, including lessons, readings, media, and timelines, related to racism and prejudice. Covers topics such as Antisemitism & Religious Intolerance, Bullying & Ostracism, Genocide & Mass Violence, Global Immigration, Justice & Human Rights, and Race in US History. Click on a topic, then use the drop-downs to browse that topic by academic subject or resource type. High school and up. (Non-profit organization)
Folk Streams VIDEO - Independent films and videos depicting a wide range of American folk, traditional, regional and vernacular culture from traditional fiddle music to 'Steppin' and hip-hop. Includes folk life, folkways, folklore and documentary films, with extensive background materials. You can browse films by subject or by region. High school and up. (Non-profit site)
Food & Culture links - Selected links on the meaning of food, food history, production, & uses of foods, and more.
Heritage Resources - Online resources for teachers and students on Black History, Women's History, Asian Pacific Americans, Hispanic Heritage, and American Indian Heritage (Smithsonian). Celebrate Cultural Heritage Months is a related site (Smithsonian).
Immigrant Experience - Selected links to immigration history websites. (South Plainfield Public Library)
It's International! - An online magazine offering articles by international students on ethnic customs & traditions, food, games, holidays, clothing, and more. (Topics: An Online Magazine for Learners of English)
Multicultural Literature in the United States Today - Distinguished American writers from various ethnic backgrounds offer tales of their native lands and their experiences as Americans. Stories can be read on the website, or downloaded as a PDF file for printing. (2009; U.S. Department of State)
National Parks Cultural Heritage Sites - Information about many places of significance in African American, Alaska Native, American Indian, Asian American, European, Hispanic, and Pacific Islander heritage. The web page for each place features an essay explaining the cultural & historic significance of that place. (U.S. National Park Service)
New Americans [NOTE: Archived page; some media features may not work.] - 'Follow a diverse group of immigrants and refugees as they leave their home and families behind and learn what it means to be new Americans in the 21st century.' This companion website to an Independent Lens documentary explores the experiences of Ogoni refugees, a Palestinian bride, Dominican baseball players, a Mexican laborer, and an Indian tech worker, as well as some of the art, food, music and language of their homelands. High school and up. (2004, PBS)
Peace Corps World Wise Schools VIDEO INTERACTIVE - Stories, activities, articles, videos and lesson plans based on Peace Corps Volunteer experiences. These resources are 'designed to help students understand cultural differences [and] enhance respect and tolerance between and among students of different ethnic backgrounds.' Includes a Culture Matters cross-cultural training workbook UPDATED LINK! [Link opens a PDF] (8th grade and up), Recipes from Around the World and interactive Web Quests (scroll past the search boxes). (Peace Corps)
Records of Rights - A collection of primary documents with explanatory text, exploring the ongoing struggle of African Americans, immigrants, and women to define, attain, and protect their rights. High school and up. (U.S. National Archives)
Refugee Backgrounders - Online publications about the cultural background of refugee populations, including topics such as history, geography, economy, social structure, gender roles, language, education and religion. See Refugee Populations VIDEO for additional resources. The Resource Library also offers videos and lesson plans. High school and up. (1993 - 2014, Cultural Orientation Resource Center)
Understanding Prejudice - 'Educational resources and information on prejudice, discrimination, multiculturalism, and diversity, with the ultimate goal of reducing the level of intolerance and bias in contemporary society.' Includes interactive quizzes, booklists, articles, and links. High school and up; free registration is required for full access. (2002 - 2015, by Professor Scott Plous of Wesleyan University et al.; funded by National Science Foundation and McGraw-Hill Higher Education.)
Understanding Race VIDEO INTERACTIVE - Explains differences among people and reveals the reality - and unreality - of race, through the eyes of history, science and lived experience; includes a separate page for kids aged 10 - 13. (2007 - 2015, American Anthropological Association)
AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY ONLINE (Facts on File) Provides expansive and in-depth information on the people, events, and topics important to the study of African-American history. If you're logging on at home, you'll need to enter your name, library card barcode number, and PIN to get started.
101 African American Firsts - A list of the first African Americans in a variety of areas of achievement in government, law, diplomacy, the military, science & medicine, sports, literature, and other fields. Each name is linked to a short biography and image. (BlackPast.org; Dr. Quintard Taylor, Professor at University of Washington, et al.)
African Arts Playtime Activities INTERACTIVE [NOTE: Radio and right-hand menu are broken.] - An assortment of fun activities related to African arts. Age level varies. (Smithsonian)
African Voices [NOTE: Archived page; some media features may not work.] - 'Examines the diversity, dynamism, and global influence of Africa's peoples and cultures over time in the realms of family, work, community, and the natural environment.' High school and up. (Smithsonian)
Basic Black AUDIO VIDEO - Online audio and video podcasts of a weekly television series reflecting on the concerns and culture of African Americans through short documentaries, performances and one-on-one conversations (WGBH). American Black Journal first went on the air in 1968 during a time of social and racial turmoil. The archived video programs represent a wide variety of African-American viewpoints on issues ranging from labor unrest in the automobile industry, to the urban civil disturbances in Detroit and across the nation riots of 1967, the emergence of outspoken African American political leaders, and the explosion of Motown music; includes interviews, discussions, features, and artistic performances. You can browse by theme or guest (Detroit Public Television and Michigan State University).
Black Leadership VIDEO - Interviews with dozens of leaders from the black community, exploring the early influences on their lives, along with 'issues of black leadership and the transformational role of the civil rights movement in America.' (2014, University of Virginia)
Time for Kids: Black History Month VIDEO - Articles on important African Americans and related topics. For grades K-6 (2013, Time Inc.; site includes advertisements). For many additional Black History Month resources for grades K-12, see Black History Month Lessons & Resources NEW! (2015, National Education Association).
Al-Bab: An Open Door to the Arab World - Articles, blog, and links relating to all aspects of the Arab world, as well as individual Arab countries. (British-Yemeni Society; content by British journalist/author Brian Whitaker; site includes advertisements)
American Muslims FAQ - Online publication that aims to 'provide the public with accurate answers to understandable questions. The resource reflects widely-shared views among American Muslims on important topics such as sharia, jihad, the role of mosques and the relationship between religious and civil legal codes.' (2012 - 2014, Interfaith Alliance and The First Amendment Center)
Bridging Cultures: Muslim Journeys AUDIO VIDEO - Essays, book recommendations, and other resources representing diverse perspectives on the people, places, histories, beliefs, practices, and cultures of Muslims in the United States and around the world. (National Endowment for the Humanities et al.)
Muslim Heritage VIDEO - Articles on various aspects of Muslim heritage, including science, environment, culture, people, books, and more. High school and up. (Foundation for Science Technology and Civilisation, UK)
Muslim Veils - Illustrations and descriptions of the different types of veils worn by Muslim women, including the hijab, burka, chador, and others. (BBC)
Muslims NEW! - An overview of the beliefs & daily lives of Muslims, plus a glossary and Islam timeline. (2002, PBS Frontline)
Science in Islam - 'The spread of Islam stimulated the development of a wide range of science and technology founded upon a legacy from the ancient world.' This site explores the achievements of Islamic science. (Museum of History of Science, University of Oxford, UK)
For links on Buddhism, Hinduism, and Shinto
see: Religion - General / Other
For links on Islam
see: Arab, Arab-American & Muslim
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month - Links to selected resources that will help you 'find out how and why we celebrate the month, who are some of the most noted Asian Pacific Americans, why these people migrated to the U.S., and contributions Asian Pacific Americans have made to our country. Includes lesson plans and various teaching resources.' For grades 6 - 8. (2013, University of Missouri)
Asia for Kids - Asia-related games, stories, languages, and arts for elementary & middle school students. Asia 101 is a collection of articles about Asia for high school and up. See also Teaching Resources. (Asia Society; non-profit organization)
Asian Nation - Asian-American culture, history, and current issues. 'You can almost think of Asian-Nation as an online version of 'Asian Americans 101'.' High school and up. (By Dr. C.N. Le, Professor at University of Massachusetts)
India at a Glance - A brief overview of the land, life, & culture of India, with links to more information on many topics; high school and up (1998 - 2014; by Vinay Lal, Associate Professor at UCLA). See also eThemes: India for links to more websites about India's history, geography, language, culture, animals, and art, for grades 1 - 12 (2014, University of Missouri).
Pakistan: Arts & Culture AUDIO VIDEO - Explores the nation, the land, the people, the arts, and the culture & daily life of Pakistan. High school and up. (Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts)
Catholic Encyclopedia - Online edition of the original Catholic Encyclopedia (ca. 1910), with articles arranged A to Z; also searchable by keyword. (Site includes advertisements)
Christian Classics Ethereal Library - An extensive library of 'Christian Classics' currently in the public domain, including Bibles and Commentaries, Catechisms, Liturgies, Fiction, History, Hymns and Hymnology, Sermons, and Reference works. You can search by keyword(s) or browse by author, title, or subject. Texts are available in a variety of digital formats. High school and up. (Calvin College; site includes advertisements)
Blindness FAQs - Answers to common questions about blindness, including 'What is Braille?' 'What causes blindness?' 'How does it feel to be blind?' and 'Should I help a blind person to cross the street?' as well as explaining how blind people perform everyday tasks such as shopping and cooking. All ages (National Federation of the Blind). To learn more about Braille, see The Braille Bug; for grades 3 through 6 (American Foundation for the Blind).
Friends with disabilities - Thirteen helpful hints on how to treat a person with a disability. See also Disability Etiquette (Easter Seals) and Disability Basics: Etiquette (National Center on Workforce and Disability). For etiquette advice specific to different types of disabilities, see Disability Etiquette: Tips On Interacting With People With Disabilities [Link opens a PDF] (United Spinal Association).
Myths and Facts About People with Disabilities - Corrects common misinformation and misunderstandings about what it's like to live with a disability. (Easter Seals)
Kids' Quest - Answers to common questions about kids with disabilities. (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services)
Recommended Books about People with Disabilities [Link opens a PDF] - A list of some outstanding books that portray emotional, mental, or physical disability experiences, most published between 2000 and 2008; for elementary & middle school students (2009, American Library Association).
Museum of Disability History - Online exhibits 'dedicated to advancing the understanding, acceptance and independence of people with disabilities.' Includes illustrated presentations on the history of disability in Media, in Medicine, in Society, in Education, and more; with timelines. High school and up (People Inc. & the B. Thomas Golisano Foundation). See also A History of Disability: from 1050 to the Present Day (Historic England).
Irish American Hall of Fame - A history of the Irish in America and their contributions to American society and culture, from the time of the Revolutionary War through the present era. Hover over 'Our Story' to navigate to a specific topic. Click on 'Hall of Fame Honorees' for bios of famous Irish-Americans. (Non-profit organization)
Italian Americans - A timeline which 'strives to capture the richness of the Italian American experience and to highlight the many valuable contributions this special group has made to the United States.' See also Italian American Contributions (National Italian American Foundation) and Italian Heritage (UNICO National, an Italian American service organization).
German Americans UPDATED LINK! - An online booklet reviewing the immigration of Germans to America and exploring German-American identity (University of Wisconsin).
Polish Americans - Annotated links to selected websites about Polish Americans. For more links about Polish history & culture, see Poland in the Classroom; expect some broken links. (State University of New York)
Latin American History
American Latino Heritage - Essays on American Latino Heritage, with links to the National Park Service's American Latino Heritage sites. Pages for these historic sites explain their significance and their stories, and include photographs and other illustrations. American Latinos and the Making of the United States provides essays on specific aspects of the American Latino experience such as arts, business, education, food, labor, law, religion, science, sports, and more. (National Park Service)
Arts of Latin America AUDIO VIDEO - 'Travel through the diverse cultures of Latin America, as represented by artists from Ecuador, Cuba, Bolivia, El Salvador, Venezuela, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Texas and California. Enjoy art rich in both tradition and innovation.' Includes video, audio, and lesson plans (Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts). See also Latino Voices in American Art VIDEO and Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art (Smithsonian Institution).
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage INTERACTIVE - Features Hispanic History in the Americas, Famous Latinos, Latinos in History, and Research Starters to help you with your homework paper. Middle school and up; expect some broken links. (Scholastic Publishing)
Latin American Culture - Links to selected resources about the culture & life of the people of Latin America and Latin Americans in the United States. (2014, University of Missouri)
Time for Kids: Hispanic Heritage Month - Articles on famous Hispanic Americans and related topics. For grades K-6. (2013, Time Inc.; site includes advertisements)
See Arab, Arab-American & Muslim section, above.
Jewish-Americans VIDEO - Explores Jewish American history from the first Jews to arrive in New Amsterdam in 1654, to Jewish life in modern America. Includes special topics such as anti-semitism, responses to the Holocaust, Jews in sports and the arts, and more. With video clips (PBS et al; site includes advertisements). For related heritage resources, including websites and lesson plans, see Jewish-American Heritage (National Endowment for the Humanities).
Jewish Encyclopedia - 'The complete contents of the 12-volume Jewish Encyclopedia... over 15,000 articles and illustrations.' Originally published between 1901-1906, so it does not cover a significant portion of modern Jewish History - e.g., the Holocaust, the creation of Israel, etc. (Site includes advertisements)
Only in America - Brief profiles of Jewish Americans who have made important contributions to American life and history, in Arts & Entertainment, Business & Philanthropy, Literature, Politics, Law, & Activism, Religion & Thought, Science & Medicine, and Sports. (National Museum of American Jewish History, Philadelphia)
Stories of Jewish-Americans - 'Since arriving in New Amsterdam (present day New York City) in 1654, the Jewish people have achieved great success, toiling tirelessly in strengthening the nation and in their commitments to faith and family. These stories are the ties that bind their heritage to the chord of American history.' (Library of Congress)
Atheism (BBC Religion) [Archived page] - An overview of atheism, with information on different types of atheism, beliefs, history, proponents, and rites & rituals.
BBC Religions of the World Guide [Archived page] - Explores 16 world religions, including Ba'hai, Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Rastafari, Paganism, Taoism, Shinto, and Sikhism, as well as atheism. Provides an overview of each religion, plus more detailed information about beliefs, history, customs & practices, holy days & festivals, ethics, texts, and other topics; high school and up. (British Broadcasting Corporation)
Budddhism: A Five-Minute Introduction - Brief answers to common questions about Buddhism (BuddhaNet, non-profit organisation affiliated with the Buddha Dharma Education Association Inc). See also Following the Buddha's Footsteps (by Professor Ron Epstein, Intitute for World Religions in Berkeley, California).
Hinduism for Schools - Explains the beliefs and practices of Hindus; separate sections for elementary and secondary school students. (Vivekananda Centre of London). See also Hinduism 101 (Hindu American Foundation).
Religious Oppression Around the World NEW! - An overview of religious restrictions and hostilities, imposed by both governments and societies at large, among the world's most populous countries. High school and up. (2015, Pew Research Center)
Shinto: What is Shinto? - A short overview of the beliefs and practices of Japan's indigenous Shinto religion. (International Shinto Foundation)
AMERICAN WOMEN'S HISTORY ONLINE (Facts on File) - Covers the important people, events, legislation, and issues relevant to the study of women's history in the United States. [NOTE: Facts on File's American Women's History is no longer available as a separate database. Its content has been moved to Facts on File's American History Online].
Time for Kids: Women's History Month VIDEO - Articles on famous women in history and related topics. For grades K-6. (Time Inc.; site includes advertisements)
Women's History Links - Selected links to women's history websites. (South Plainfield Public Library)
Women's Studies / Women's Issues Resource Sites - A selective, annotated listing of hundreds of web sites arranged by subject; also includes an alphabetical listing. Mostly for high school and up. (2014; Professor Joan Korenman, University of Maryland)