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.
Census Briefs - Reports from the 2010 U.S. Census 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. [NOTE : Click on Census of Population and Housing, 2010, then click 2010 Census Briefs to see the list of reports]. For reports from the 2000 Census, see We the People; scroll down the page to find We the People reports. High school and up. (US Census Bureau)
Culture Club - Read reviews of books, songs, and films from a variety of countries, enjoy photos from different cultures, listen to teenagers answer questions on food, music, fashion, sports, and popular trends in their countries, and explore other multicultural resources; for students and teachers. Last updated in 2011. (National Capital Language Resource Center)
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 links to fun facts, pictures, and more. (Statue of Liberty - Ellis Island Foundation)
Ethnic America : Voices - Primary sources and related materials on a diversity of American ethnic groups. High school and up. (Digital History, University of Houston) [NOTE : Links under the heading 'The Huddled Masses' were broken when checked 1/14.]
Ethnic Minorities - Encyclopedia article giving an overview of the history of ethnic minorities in the U.S. and other countries. (Scholastic Publishing)
Explaining Diversity - 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)
Faces of America - In this PBS video series, Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores the family histories of 12 renowned Americans, including Stephen Colbert, Yo-Yo Ma, Meryl Streep, and Kristi Yamaguchi. 'Along the way, the many stories he uncovers - of displacement and homecoming, of material success and dispossession, of assimilation and discrimination - illuminate the American experience.' Middle school and up. (PBS; site includes advertisements)
Folk Streams - Independent films and videos depicting a wide range of American folk, traditional, regional and vernacular culture from traditional fiddle music to 'Steppin'. 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 [UPDATED LINK!] - 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 - '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. Includes video clips and quiz. High school and up. (2004, PBS)
Peace Corps Challenge Game [UPDATED LINK!] - 'Take the role of a Peace Corps Volunteer assigned to the fictional village of Wanzuzu. Explore eight critical challenges villagers are faced with, and determine realistic and sustainable solutions to improve their quality of life.' WebQuests, lesson plans, and multimedia are offered for each challenge. The Peace Corps' World Wise Schools also offers the Culture Matters cross-cultural training workbook [UPDATED LINK!] (8th grade and up), Recipes from Around the World, and additional Web Quests [UPDATED LINK!], as well as related Lesson Plans & other classroom resources [UPDATED LINK!] 'designed to help students understand cultural differences will enhance respect and tolerance between and among students of different ethnic backgrounds.' (Peace Corps)
Race : The Power of an Illusion - An interactive exploration of the question 'Is race for real?' with quick facts, timeline, quizzes, and other activities (PBS; site includes advertisements). See also Understanding Race ; includes a separate page for kids aged 10 - 13 (American Anthropological Association).
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 for additional resources. The Resource Library also offers videos and lesson plans. (1993 - 2013, 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. (By Professor Scott Plous of Wesleyan University et al.; funded by National Science Foundation and McGraw-Hill Higher Education.)
World Cultures - Brief descriptions of dozens of cultures, past and present, from around the globe. Each entry includes a photo of a related artifact; click on the photo for a larger picture and a description of the object. (British Museum)
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 et al.)
African American World - A guide to African American history, art, culture and society. Includes a timeline, and a 'Reference Room' offering lists of recommended books and films, and more. (PBS; site includes advertisements)
African Arts Playtime - An assortment of fun activities related to African arts. Use the menu on the right to choose Coloring pages, interactive Seek & Find games, or Music. Age level varies.
African Diaspora Stories : I've Known Rivers - Oral history narratives (audio recordings) by people of African descent, describing their experiences moving to and living in new surroundings and cultures. High school and up. (Museum of the African Diaspora)
African Voices - '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 - 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 Culture & History - A guide to websites covering all areas of black history and culture, including Africa, African Diaspora, Arts & Culture, Education, Health & Medicine, History, Religion, Sports, Women, and more. Updated infrequently. High school and up. (University of North Carolina)
Black Leadership - 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.' (University of Virginia)
Famous Firsts by African Americans - Lists dozens of firsts, such as the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, Nobel Prize winner, Pulitzer Prize winner, film director, major league baseball player, and many more. Links to additional information included on most listings. (Infoplease / Pearson Education; site includes advertisements)
Time for Kids : Black History Month - Articles on important African Americans and related topics. For grades K-6. (2013, Time Inc.; site includes advertisements)
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.' (Interfaith Alliance and The First Amendment Center)
Islamic Studies - Dozens of links on Islamic religion, history, and culture. High school and up. (University of Georgia)
Muslim Heritage [UPDATED LINK!] - Explores 1000 years of Muslim history, focusing particularly on the contribution of Muslim culture to present day science, technology, and civilization. High school and up. (Foundation for Science Technology and Civilisation, UK)
Muslims - This site covers Islamic belief, law and practice, Islam and the West, and women and Islam. It also offers portraits of ordinary Muslims living in different countries, and interviews with activists and academics, as well as links for further information. High school and up. (2002, PBS Frontline; site includes advertisements)
Muslim Veils - Illustrations and descriptions of the different types of veils worn by Muslim women, including the hijab, burka, chador, and others. (BBC)
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. (2011, University of Missouri)
Asia Society - Information on Asian arts & culture, business & economics, society & history, policy & government; also country profiles, information on holidays, language, and chronologies, plus a separate page of Resources for Students; high school and up. Also includes Asia for Kids, featuring games, stories, languages, and arts for younger students, and Teaching Resources. (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 C.N. Le, professor of Sociology at University of Massachusetts)
China the Beautiful - Celebrates 'all that is beautiful and glorious in the Chinese culture,' including stories, arts, history, poetry, language, calligraphy, and paintings. High school and up. (Personal site, by Ming L. Pei)
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 (by Vinay Lal, Associate Professor of History, UCLA). See also eThemes : India for links to more websites about India's history, geography, language, culture, animals, and art, for grades 1 - 12 (University of Missouri).
Pakistan : Arts & Culture - 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)
People with Disabilities Webfinder
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 the Braille code, see The Braille Bug; for grades 3 through 6 (American Foundation for the Blind).
Famous People with Disabilities - About 2 dozen links; for all ages. Last updated in 2009 (University of Wisconsin). See also Recommended Books about People with Disabilities [Link opens a PDF] for elementary & middle school students (American Library Association).
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 specific advice on etiquette for different types of disabilities, see Disability Etiquette : Tips On Interacting With People With Disabilities [Link opens a PDF] (San Jose State University).
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)
Siblings of Persons with Disabilities - Links to information and support for brothers and sisters of people with disabilities. Last updated in 2009; expect some broken links. (University of Wisconsin)
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)
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)
German Americans - An online booklet reviewing the immigration of Germans to America and exploring German-American identity (University of Wisconsin). See also Germans in America; site may be slow to load and navigate (Exil-Club).
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 - '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)
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage - 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. (Scholastic Publishing)
Hispanic Heritage - Hispanic biographies, music, timeline, and related activities. (Gale Publishing)
LANIC : Latin American Network Information Center - An extensive web directory of Latin American links, arranged by subject. NOTE: some sites are in Spanish.
Time for Kids : Hispanic Heritage Month [UPDATED LINK!] - Articles on famous Hispanic Americans and related topics. For grades K-6. (2013, Time Inc.; site includes advertisements)
Jewish-Americans - 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 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)
Atheism : Investigating Atheism - Places current debates on atheism in their historical context, and offers a range of perspectives (from all sides) on the chief issues. High school and up. (University of Cambridge, UK) [NOTE : Site was down when checked 1/14.]. See also BBC Religion : Atheism.
BBC Religions of the World Guide - Explores 16 world religions, including Ba'hai, Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Rastafari, Paganism, Taoism, Shinto, and Sikhism, as well as atheism; 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). For a more detailed guide to Buddhist beliefs and practices, see BBC Religion : Buddhism (British Broadcasting Corporation) and 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).
Religion Facts - Extensive information about the Bahá'í Faith, Buddhism, Ancient Chinese Religion, Christianity, Greek Religion, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Judaism, Mormonism (LDS), Scientology, Sikhism, Taoism, and Wicca. The site's author is not identified, but most of the articles include reference notes with links to sources. Site may be slow to load and navigate. (Site includes advertisements)
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. If you're logging on at home, you'll need to enter your name, library card barcode number, and PIN to get started.
Time for Kids : Women's History Month - 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. (University of Maryland)