Happy birthday, Mr. Lincoln

With all the recent news coverage, pretty much everyone knows that today is the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. As you would imagine the Smithsonian, and especially our museum, houses a wealth of artifacts, primary source documents, and images relating to our 16th president.

Lincoln's top hat As part of the Smithsonian’s efforts to make its collections and scholarship more accessible online, the Center for Education and Museum Studies held an Online Education Conference on Lincoln February 4 and 5. If you missed it, don’t worry, the whole thing has been archived and you can view it anytime. Each participating Smithsonian museum has a special page within the virtual conference site that links you to all of their Lincoln-related content. Resources from the National Museum of American History include an image gallery of objects and quotes, downloadable activities designed for kindergarten to fourth grade children, and a handout from curator Shannon Thomas Perich’s presentation entitled “Public and Private Photography During the Civil War.” You can find these resources and more here. This is the first time the Smithsonian has presented an online conference, so please post to the conference’s discussion boards and let us know what you think!

If you are a teacher, homeschooling parent, or afterschool care provider you might want to check out Smithsonian’s History Explorer, our new education Web site. There are lots of K-12 activities and ideas relating to Abraham Lincoln and other American history topics.

How will you be teaching about Abraham Lincoln this year? We’d love to know.

Carrie Kotcho is the education technologist at the National Museum of American History.