World Almanac for Kids [Login with your library card barcode] - Resources for homework, reports, and projects in a fun format from a trusted source. Covers a wide range of topics, including multicultural biographies NEW! featuring notable Black, Asian, and Hispanic Americans, as well as Holidays & Celebrations, Latino-American History in the U.S., and Native American Life; written for students in 4th - 8th grade. If you're using this resource at home, you'll have to enter your name and library card barcode to begin.
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.
Recommended Reading Lists NEW! - The South Plainfield Public Library staff has put together dozens of reading lists that include kids' books on 'Colors of our Community,' a wide range of holidays, and themes such as heritage months; new lists are added monthly. If you see a book on one of the lists that interests you, just click on the *CHECK CATALOG* button and request it!
About America: Diversity - Stories about diverse individuals, groups, traditions, and activities in the United States today (2020, U.S. Department of State). Multicultural Literature in the United States Today [Link opens a PDF] features distinguished American writers from various ethnic backgrounds offering 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). See also I am a Migrant links, below. For additional resources, see our Immigrant Experience links (South Plainfield Public Library).
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 - 2016, 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 reports. High school and up. (US Census Bureau)
Diversity in Congress - Briefly summarizes the history of Hispanic Americans in Congress, African-Americans in Congress, and Women in Congress, with links to related material; high school and up. (Office of the Clerk, U.S. Capitol)
Diversity in New Jersey History - A collection of articles on the diversity of people, places, products and talents that have contributed to New Jersey over the past 350 years. (Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area and New Jersey Historical Commission.)
EdSitement - Offers a variety of heritage learning materials for students and teachers, on Asian-Pacific Heritage, Hispanic Heritage Heritage, Jewish-American Heritage, Native American Heritage, and Women's History (National Endowment for the Humanities).
Ellis Island - Explores the history of the first Federal immigration station at Ellis Island. Statue of Liberty includes an overview of the statue's history, with pictures (Statue of Liberty - Ellis Island Foundation). See also Immigrant Experience links.
Eugenics in the U.S. NEW! - 'Eugenics is the term that describes the medical sterilization of people to help create a better race and eliminate all weak citizens who are seen unfit to procreate... Hitler just took eugenics a step further by eliminating those who were unfit - not sterilizing them.' This site explores how eugenics was viewed by the public and carried out by government policy (Jillian Elolf and Nathan Hamilton, students at Baylor University). See also Unwanted Sterilization and Eugenics Programs in the United States NEW! (2016 - 2020, PBS), and Eugenics Exhibit (Museum of Disability History). Eugenics Archive (Canada) VIDEO INTERACTIVE explores the history of eugenics in Canada and around the world. It includes a eugenics encyclopedia, interactive game, timeline, personal stories told by eugenics survivors, and more; high school and up (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada).
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 AUDIO VIDEO [NOTE: Free registration required for full access to all materials.] - 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)
Fashion and Race - Explores how race influences the fashion system and the way we 'fashion' ourselves in society, examining systemic racism, the residual effects of colonialism, and the inextricable link between race, power, privilege and aesthetics; high school and up. (Kimberly M. Jenkins, Assistant Professor, Ryerson University)
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.
I am a Migrant VIDEO - Individuals from many countries share their stories, providing honest insight into the triumphs and tribulations of migrants of all backgrounds and at all phases of their migratory journeys (United Nations). First Days is a large collection of stories by immigrants about their first days in the U.S. You can use the timeline on the front page to browse stories by year, search by keyword, or use the map to browse stories by places of departure or arrival (First Days Project, South Asian American Digital Archive). See also My America: Immigrant and Refugee Writers Today NEW! (American Writers Museum). For additional resources, see our Immigrant Experience links (South Plainfield Public Library).
Immigration 101 - Explains how the U.S. immigration system works, along with background, history, data, and analysis on hot topics in immigration; high school and up (American Immigration Council).
It's International! UPDATED LINK! [Archived pages] - 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)
Military - See Veterans Stories to learn about diversity in the military, including African Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, women and LGBT.
National Parks Cultural Heritage Sites - Information about many places of significance in the history of African Americans, Latino Americans, Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders, people with disabilities, European Americans, Indigenous Americans, LGBTQ, and women. Featured parks, places, education resources, theme study, and additional resources are provided for each topic. (U.S. National Park Service)
Peace Corps - See Peace Corps Stories.
Pew Resarch Topics - Public opinion polling, demographic research, content analysis and other data-driven social science research about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. Topics include diverse racial, ethnic, religious, and gender groups and subjects. High school and up. (Pew Research Center)
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 [Archived page] - 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)
Respect - A newsletter on legal issues related to diversity, for grades 6 and up. Covers issues such as religious discrimination, criminal justice reform, voter suppression, policing & race, and many others; published three times a year (New Jersey State Bar Foundation)
Talking About Race - Tools and guidance to help you in understanding and talking about race. Covers topics such as bias, historical foundations of race, race & racial identity, social identity & systems of oppression, and others. (National Museum of African American History & Culture)
Understanding Prejudice [Archived page; expect broken links] VIDEO - '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 videos, booklists, articles, and interactive quizzes. High school and up. (2002 - 2017, 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 (2006 - 2019, American Anthropological Association).
Veterans - See Veterans Stories to learn about diversity in the military, including African Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, women and LGBT.
What It Means to Be American - 'Brings together leading thinkers, public figures, and Americans from all walks of life to explore big, visceral questions about how our nation's past can help us understand its present and imagine its future.' (Smithsonian, Arizona State University, and Zócalo Public Square)
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. (2020, BlackPast.org; Dr. Quintard Taylor, Professor at University of Washington, et al.)
African American History Month (February) - An online exhibit paying tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society. (Library of Congress et al.)
African Arts Playtime Activities INTERACTIVE [NOTE: Radio link and right-hand menu links are broken.] - An assortment of fun activities related to African arts. Click here for Radio Africa. Age level varies. There are also home learning activities, and related resources for the classroom for grades K-12 (Smithsonian). See also African Art and African Music & Dance links.
Basic Black AUDIO VIDEO - Online audio and video of an ongoing weekly television series reflecting the current concerns of communities of color (WGBH).
Black History Month Lessons & Resources - Links to lesson plans, activities, background materials, quizzes, printables, and audio/video resources for grades K-5, 6-8, and 9-12. (2019, National Education Association)
Black Leadership - See Black Leadership and related links on our Government page.
Black Lives Matter Movement NEW! - Articles on the Black Lives Matter movement protesting police brutality and unnecessary deadly force against people of color. Includes articles on many such incidents and their victims, from 1938 to 2020, with links to related information. (2020, BlackPast.org)
Indivisible - Examines how, over the centuries, African Americans and Native Americans created shared histories, communities, families, and ways of life, and how they were united in the struggles against slavery and dispossession, and for self-determination and freedom. (Smithsonian)
Juneteenth - Black Independence Day - A brief overview of the history of Juneteenth, with links to additional information and related stories (2020, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). See also The Historical Legacy of Juneteenth (National Museum of African American History & Culture), What Is Juneteenth? (PBS/The Root), and What to know about Juneteenth (CNN).
Librarians' Social Justice Reading Recommendations for Kids and Families NEW! - 'Amid ongoing national conversations about anti-Blackness and racial violence, librarians from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) and the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) have put together a social justice reading list... for kids in pre-K, elementary, and middle school. Some titles include mature content; parents and families are advised to use care in discussing the books with their children.' (2020, American Library 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. (By British journalist/author Brian Whitaker; site includes advertisements)
American Muslims and Religious Freedom 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 - 2016, Interfaith Alliance and The First Amendment Center)
Arab Americans: History, Culture and Contributions NEW! [Link opens a PDF] - Provides a 'Demographic Portrait' of the Arab American population and Histories of Arab American Immigration, plus FAQs, Holidays, Cultural Practices & Food, and more; for high school and advanced middle school students (2019, Arab American National Museum; an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution).
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). See also 1001 Inventions (UK non-profit organization).
Muslim Veils - Illustrations and descriptions of the different types of veils worn by Muslim women, including the hijab, burka, chador, and others. (BBC)
Muslims [Archived page] - An overview of the beliefs & daily lives of Muslims, plus a glossary and Islam timeline. (2002, PBS Frontline)
For links on Buddhism, Hinduism, and Shinto
see: Religion - General / Other
For links on Islam
see: Arab, Arab-American & Muslim
Asia Society: Family Activities - At-home lessons and activities for young learners exploring the diverse cultures of Asia, including food, holidays, crafts and more. Teachers and older students, see Lesson Plans and Curriculum Resources. (Asia Society; non-profit organization)
Asian Nation - Asian-American culture, history, and current issues. 'You can 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)
Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (May) - An online exhibit paying tribute to the generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have enriched America's history and are instrumental in its future success. (Library of Congress et al.)
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 - 2017; by Vinay Lal, Associate Professor at UCLA).
Korea - A collection of educational resources about Korean history, life & culture, plus recent articles and links to additional information. (Korean Spirit and Culture Promotion Project, non-profit organization)
Pakistan: Arts & Culture UPDATED LINK! [Archived page; media features do not work] - 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). See also Blue Letter Bible.
American with Disabilities Act History - An overview of the struggle for the rights of people with disabilities, with links to additional information. (2020, All of Us / Disability History Association)
Blindness FAQs - Answers to 10 common questions about blindness, such as 'How do people who are blind get around safely?' 'Should I offer to help a person who is blind?' 'Is it ok to pet a guide dog?' and more (Greater Detroit Agency for the Blind and Visually Impaired). For a brief overview, see Blindness (KidsHealth, Nemours Foundation). To learn more about Braille, see The Braille Bug; for grades 3 through 6 (American Foundation for the Blind).
Books about People with Disabilities: Schneider Family Book Award - This award is given 'to honor an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.' The web page lists & describes all the winning books from 2004 - present. Also links to a 2009 list of children's books about the disability experience (American Library Association).
Deafness: Info to Go UPDATED LINK! - A wide range of information & resources about deaf and hard of hearing children; high school and up (Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center). For a brief overview, see Hearing Loss for Kids or Hearing Impairment for Teens (KidsHealth, Nemours Foundation). See also USEFUL WEBSITES - HEALTH: Hearing & Noise links.
Eugenics - See Eugenics links, above.
Friends with disabilities - Helpful hints on how to treat a person with a disability. See also Disability Etiquette (Easter Seals) and NCWD/Youth Disability Etiquette NEW! (National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth). 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).
History of Disability: from 1050 to the Present Day - Explores disabled people's lives in British history (Historic England). Nineteenth-Century Disability: Cultures and Contexts is a collection of primary texts and images about physical and cognitive disability in the nineteenth century (Karen Bourrier, Christopher Keep, et al.). All for high school and up. The Museum of Disability History has a collection of 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 (People Inc. & the B. Thomas Golisano Foundation).
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)
Special Books by Special Kids (SBSK) NEW! VIDEO - Contrary to the title, this is actually a collection of video interviews with disabled and neurodiverse people (non-profit organization; videos hosted on YouTube).
Irish in America - 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. (Irish American Hall of Fame; non-profit organization)
Italian Americans: Italian Heritage - Articles on an assortment of topics on Italian-American culture & heritage, such as Columbus Day, the Italian flag, the history of pizza, Italian-Americans in the Civil War, and more (UNICO National, an Italian American service organization).
German Americans - An online booklet reviewing the immigration of Germans to America and exploring German-American identity (University of Wisconsin).
Polish American Heritage - Materials on Polish history & culture (Polish American Cultural Center Museum). For additional Polish-American resources, see Polish Organizations (Kosciuszko Foundation, American Center for Polish culture).
Latin American History
Arts of Latin America UPDATED LINK! 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 Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art (Smithsonian Institution).
Hispanic American Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15) - An online exhibit paying tribute to the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society. (Library of Congress et al.)
Hispanic Heritage Teacher Resources INTERACTIVE - Lesson plans, book lists, crafts, and biographies on Hispanic history, art, and music. Separate sections for grades PreK-K, 1-2, 3-5, and 6-8; expect some broken links. (Scholastic Publishing; site includes advertisements)
Latino Civil Rights NEW! - A timeline of Latino Civil Rights from 1903 to 2006, with links to lesson plans and related learning materials (Learning for Justice, Southern Poverty Law Center).
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 [Archived page] 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)
VOCES VIDEO - An oral history project highlighting the contributions of U.S. Latinos and Latinas of the WWII, Korean War and Vietnam War generations. Most of the stories feature military veterans, but the broader Latino civilian experience of men and women alike is also documented. Now includes Voces of a Pandemic NEW!, stories of the Latinx community affected by the Coronavirus. (University of Texas)
See Arab, Arab-American & Muslim section, above.
The Bible - See Blue Letter Bible.
Jewish American Heritage Month (May) - An online exhibit paying tribute to the generations of Jewish Americans who have helped form the fabric of American history, culture and society. (Library of Congress et al.)
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).
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 significant events in 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)
LGBTI Rights - An overview of discrimination against LGBTI people in countries around the world, with answers to popular questions about what it means to be LGBTI. (Amnesty International)
LGBTQ Heritage - A collection of resources on the histories of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Americans. Includes resources for educators on LGBTQ history and links to additional resources and information (National Park Service.) See also Unheard Voices: Stories of LGBT History (2020, Anti-Defamation League). For links to additional resources relating to heterosexism, homophobia, antigay violence, sexual orientation, gender identity, and other topics, see Heterosexism; expect some broken links (Part of the Understanding Prejudice website).
Making Gay History AUDIO - An audio archive of rare interviews which bring the history of the LGBTQ civil rights movement to life through the voices of the people who lived it. (By author Eric Marcus at al.)
Atheism (BBC Religion) [Archived page] [CAUTION: This site includes links to Wikipedia articles] - An overview of atheism, with information on different types of atheism, beliefs, history, proponents, and rites & rituals.
BBC Religious Education VIDEO - Covers the basics of Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, and Non-religious beliefs, and includes videos, interactives, and activities; for elementary & middle school students. BBC Religions of the World Guide [Archived page] [CAUTION: This site includes links to Wikipedia articles] 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)
Buddhism: 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 Hinduism 101 & Hinduism Basics for high school and up (Hindu American Foundation).
Religious Oppression Around the World - An overview of religious restrictions and hostilities, imposed by both governments and societies at large, among the world's most populous countries. See additional research on a range of religious topics NEW! including Religion & U.S. Politics, Religion & Media, Religious Beliefs & Practices, Religious Extremism, and more, plus research on individual religious groups such as Jews, Christians, Muslims, and others. High school and up. (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].
Click! The Ongoing Feminist Revolution VIDEO - 'An online exhibit about the history of feminism, Click! covers feminist history and the feminist movement, the women's rights movement and history of women's rights.' (Clio Visualizing History, a non-profit education organization)
Remarkable Legacies of American Women - A collection of resources on American women's history. Includes resources for educators and links to additional resources and information (National Park Service).
Women's History Month (March) - An online exhibit commemorating and encouraging the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history. (Library of Congress et al.)
Women's History Links - Selected links to women's history websites. (South Plainfield Public Library)