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Mid-Manhattan Library Picture Collection Online
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Classroom Ideas

What is the Picture Collection Online?

The Picture Collection Online is a database of 30,000 digitized images, from the 1700s through the first quarter of the 20th century, which you can integrate into your classroom in a wide variety of ways. The images are representative of the print picture collection that is available at the Mid-Manhattan branch of the New York Public Library. Included in The Picture Collection Online are images representing:

  • New York City history and culture

  • Costume from countries around the world and throughout history

  • Insects of various types

  • Indians from North and South America

  • Dragons

  • Snakes

  • and more

Why Use The Picture Collection Online in Your Classroom?

Consider these reasons for using The Picture Collection Online in your classroom

  • The images record the history of people and places around the world

  • The images are both primary and secondary source documents you can use to help your students understand the differences between these types of materials.

  • The images show you, and your students, how artists and photographers saw the world in which they lived at a particular time and in a particular place

  • The images are not readily available in any other location

  • Using images such as these in your classroom helps you meet many requirements set out by state and national standards and frameworks.

How Does The Picture Collection Online Work?

When you visit The Picture Collection Online you'll find there are a variety of ways to access the images available on the site. You can browse through the database by image title, subject, creator, and source (where the image first appeared,) or, you can search through the database by typing in a term related to your interest in order to locate images that meet that interest.

Once you locate an image you can also find out where the image originally appeared. If you find an image that is just right for your purposes you can click on a link that will take you to more images on the same subject or you can click on a link that will take you to more images from the same publication.

As you look through the collection of images you might want to select some that you think would be particularly useful for your classroom. Once you select an image it will be placed in the "My Gallery" section of The Picture Collection Online. When you click on the "My Gallery" link you will be able to see the images you selected and learn how to get copies to use in your classroom. You can also print out any of the images on the site for classroom use.

The Picture Collection Online WebQuests

We've put together a series of webquests for teachers. You can access the webquests in the "Help" section of The Picture Collection Online. Once you locate the webquests you will embark on online adventures. These adventures ask you to take on a particular role in order to come to specific decisions about using the materials available at The Picture Collection Online for a specific purpose. You'll have to learn how to use The Picture Collection Online and you'll need to learn about a particular topic in order to successfully complete each webquest.