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Magic and Technology in Early Modern Europe
Written version of Anthony Grafton's 2002 lecture titled, “Magic and Technology in Early Modern Europe.”.In his lively and entertaining presentation, Grafton showed how “the notion of a mathematical or artificial magic” rose from the ancient art of natural magic, embodied in such things as prayers and talismans, to the complex optical, hydraulic and mechanical devices that “not only rivaled, but actually outdid, the creative powers of nature itself.” The machines and automata that emulated nature and the movement of living beings were so astonishing at first that the engineers had to seek independent authoritative testimony that the devices were the product of engineering skill, not occult practices.
Provider: Smithsonian Institution Libraries
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 9–12
Overall Rating:  

Viking Learning Center
Website featuring historical, cultural, and archaeological contexts for the Vikings. Includes bibliography, teaching guide, explanation of runes, description of a Viking board game, maps, and a glossary.
Provider: National Museum of Natural History
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
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User Comments: Read the first 3 reviews | Read all 4 reviews

Caliphs & Kings: Art and Influence of Islamic Spain
Online exhibit displaying the culture and artwork of Spain during the 8th to 15th centuries, when it was under Islamic control. Includes close-up views and detailed descriptions of selected objects .
Provider: Freer and Sackler Galleries
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
Overall Rating:  

Czech Book Covers of the 1920s and 1930s
Online exhibit featuring Czechoslovakian book covers from the 1920s and 30s. During the period between the two World Wars, the Czechoslovak Republic was an important and prolific center for avant-garde book design. Includes information on the four artistic movements prominent in Czechoslovakian avant-garde book design: Poetism, Constructivism, Surrealism, and Socialist Realism. Includes selected biographies, a bibliography, and an image gallery searchable by movement, author, or date.
Provider: Smithsonian Institution Libraries
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
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Document Deep Dive: A Firsthand Account of the Hindenburg Disaster
Online primary-source document: testimony given to the Bureau of Air Commerce’s inquiry board by a member of the ground crew. Annotated with comments by the crewman.
Provider: Smithsonian Magazine
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12, General audience
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Document Deep Dive: A Holocaust Survivor Finds Hope in America
Online primary source: the immigration records of a boy who escaped the Holocaust by hiding in a Polish wood.
Provider: Smithsonian Magazine
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 9–12, General audience
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Document Deep Dive: What Did the Zimmermann Telegram Say?
Online primary source: the coded message that proposed a German-Mexican alliance in World War I (and that helped to bring the U.S. into the war). Annotated with comments by historian David Kahn.
Provider: Smithsonian Magazine
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
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Document Deep Dive: What Does the Magna Carta Really Say?
Online primary source: a translation into modern English of the 1297 Magna Carta. Annotated by a National Archives curator who discusses the document's inspiration of the Bill of Rights.
Provider: Smithsonian Magazine
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 9–12, General audience
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Encompassing the Globe: Portugal and the World in the 16th and 17th Centuries
Online exhibit describing the age of discovery and highlighting Portuguese conquests and trade agreements on the Indian Ocean and in Africa, China, Japan, and Brazil. The Portuguese voyages of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries led to the first real interaction amongst the world’s peoples, creating an unprecedented interchange of knowledge, techniques, imagery, and ideas which inspired the creation of great works of art.
Provider: Freer and Sackler Galleries
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
Overall Rating:  

Fire & Ice: Hindenburg and Titanic
Online version of an exhibition commemorating the hundredth anniversary of the sinking of the ship and the seventy-fifth anniversary of the zeppelin's fiery fall. Both luxury vessels carried mail. The stories of the disasters are illustrated with letters and postcards. Includes lesson ideas for teachers.
Provider: National Postal Museum
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
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