Middle and Upper School Library

MS Social Studies Sites

 MFS Department of Social Studies Link 

Don’t Forget to visit the MFS Subscription Database page and the weblinks provided by our Online Catalogand Online Encyclopedias.


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Miscellaneous Sites

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New Jersey Digital Highway The New Jersey Digital Highway is your “one stop shop” for New Jersey history and culture, from the collections of NJ libraries, museums, archives and historical societies.
Calendars Through the Ages This website has lots of information about how we account for time. It includes a history of the Gregorian calendar and also has information on other calendars currently in use, such as the Chinese, Indian, Islamic, and Jewish calendars. Ancient calendars are covered too. The section “Our Week” has some interesting tidbits about the origin of the 7 day week, the meaning of the names of the days, and also gives a formula for calculating what day of the week was a certain date.

American History

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Thru the Looking Glass Colonial life was anything but romantic. The early colonial years were marked by significant depravation and harsh living conditions, particularly in the winter. Although this site is geared to those interested in learning about their Mayflower ancestors, it also has useful information for students about pilgrims and daily life in colonial America. It features a colonial gazette, with insightful glimpses into colonial life. The site’s document center permits searches of such items as wills, deeds, and land transfers for genealogical information. Created by Interactive Communications, Colonial Life is suitable for students in middle school and up.
Colonial Williamsburg From the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.  Provides virtual tours, and plenty of information on life in colonial America.
New Jersey Digital Highway
The New Jersey Digital Highway is your “one stop shop” for New Jersey history and culture, from the collections of NJ libraries, museums, archives and historical societies.
Smithsonian National Museum of American History
Tour several virtual exhibitions covering a wide variety of subjects, including Japanese-American internments during WW II, sweatshops, and the American presidency.  It also features a timeline that uses objects from the museum’s collections to illustrate America’s heritage from the 16th century through the present.
American Memory Timeline

This timeline is part of the Library of Congress’ American Memory site. It covers the American experience from the end of the Revolutionary War through the late 1960s.  It is divided into seven segments: The New Nation; National Expansion & Reform; Civil War & Reconstruction; Rise of Industrial America; Progressive Era to New Era; Great Depression/World War II; & Postwar United States.

American Memory: Historical Collections for the National Digital Library
A treasure trove of primary source materials related to the history and culture of the US.  Contains more than 7 million digital items including documents. photos, recordings, moving pictures, and text.  Covers a wide variety of historical topics & figures.
America’s Story from America’s Library
Site provides and excellent introduction to the vast collections of the Library of Congress.

American History – Civil War

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American Memory Timeline

This timeline is part of the Library of Congress’ American Memory site. It covers the American experience from the end of the Revolutionary War through the tumultuous years of the late 1960s. The timeline is divided into seven segments: The New Nation; National Expansion and Reform; Civil War and Reconstruction; Rise of Industrial America; Progressive Era to New Era; Great Depression/World War II; and Postwar United States.

The Civil War Home Page

Letters written during a war offer a much different perspective on the events than the one you’ll find in history books. This site provides a personal look at the Civil War through letters, diaries, and memoirs written by soldiers and volunteers and their families.

History Central

Historycentral.com presents a complete History of the Civil War- History of Civil War battles. Major General events of the Civil War.  Web links provide even more information.

The Papers of Jefferson Davis

This site… “features a wealth of Davis documents, including letters and speeches, and offers a detailed timeline of his life.”  (Webfeet Online)

African American Odyssey

This site, part of the Library of Congress’ exhibit African American Odyssey: A Quest for Full Citizenship, provides information about the contributions African-American soldiers made to the Union war effort. The site also offers wonderful archival pictures, photographs of manuscripts, and images of other graphics from the era.

Military Medical History

Civil War medicine includes information on nurses & women, diseases and drugs, hospitals and prisons, medical equipment, surgeons and soldiers.

American History – Dustbowl

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The Dust Bowl: Links
From the National Drought Mitigation Center.  Links to sites, videos, photos, poetry.
Farming in the 1930’s
From the Wessels Living History Farm in York, Nebraska.
Between the Wars: The Dust Bowl
A brief description of the dust bowl years with links to a dust storm video and excerpts from a diary of  a woman living during dust bowl.
Day of the Black Blizzard
From the Discovery Channel.
Woody Guthrie: Dust Bowl Balladeer
Biography of the famous folk singer Woody Guthrie.
Postcards from the Dust Bowl
Actual postcards from people who experienced the dust storms of the 1930’s.
The Dust Bowl
This site from the National Archives, contains text and pictures.
New Deal Network:Timeline 1934
The New Deal Network site contains a myriad of information about Roosevelt’s New Deal years.  This link will take you right to the Dust Bowl.
About the Dust Bowl
The English Department at the U of Illinois presents a very nice time line of the dust bowl.
Black Sunday
An interesting site that tells about what happened in Perryton Texas.

American History – Civil Rights

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Pictures of the Civil Rights Movement

Click on the various words that relate to the Civil Rights Movement. View the images, and read the captions for important people, places, dates, and events.

Multimedia Civil Rights Clips
After skimming the main page for important people, places, dates, and events, click on the ‘Audio and Video Clips’ link in the upper right-hand corner. Listen/View several clips for more information on your topic. Note the important people!!
The Malcolm X Website
Visit this website to learn more about one of the key players in Civil Rights-Malcom X.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Website
View a timeline of MLK’s life, pictures from his protests, and much more at this site.
Civil Rights Movement Biographies
Visit this page to find information about the key players in the Civil Rights movement. Scroll down to the section titled ‘Campaigners: 1900-1980.’ Look for key people that you know are involved with the Civil Rights Movement, or skim the biographies for more clues.
Virtual Tours
This website allows you to travel to important places and meet important people of the Civil Rights Movement. Click on the links to visit!
Civil Rights Video Clips
Scroll down to the Civil Rights heading. Choose a topic to find out more about. Read the website, watch the video, or listen to the audio clip for more information. Be sure to check out the Quicktime video titled ‘Civil Rights Movement.’
The Little Rock Nine
Scroll down to the subheading titled ‘Background’. Skim the first two paragraphs to get an idea of the setting. Watch the video of the students entering the school by clicking on the ‘Historic Video: The Nine Enter Central’ link.
Greensboro Sit-Ins
Visit this site for several reasons. From the options on the left of the screen view the timeline for important Civil Rights Movement dates and events or any of the other links for key people and interesting information.

World of the Aztecs, Incas, & Mayas

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Lords of the Earth
A comparative overview of the Aztec, Inca, and Maya empires, as well as other native American Civilizations.  Focusing on the archaeology and anthropology of the Americas, the site examines each of these native American civilizations through some of the notable archaeological finds in the areas in which they flourished.  Through these artifacts, you will learn about practices held in common by these peoples and those unique to each.
The Ancient Aztecs
This site offers a wealth of information about the Aztecs, including their typical daily life, culture, rulers, & their conquest by the Spaniards.  A timeline of their civilization is also included
This site, part of the Crystalinks series n ancient & lost civilizations, focuses heavily on the mythology & religion of the Aztecs.  It also covers other aspects of Aztec life.  Read about the Sun Stone, or Aztec Calendar, religion including their creation story, metaphysics, temples, & pyramids.
Mystery of the Maya
This site, created as a companion piece to a film of the same name, explores both the Maya people & their ancient civilization.  It contains a glossary.  Slideshows focus on Maya architecture, sculpture, costume, landscape, & habitat & includes the Mayas of today.
Jaguar Sun
This site explores the Maya people from the glories of the past through some of their struggles in the 21st century.
Empires of Mystery: The Incas, the Andes, & the Lost Civilizations
This site offers an online version of an exhibit at the Florida International Museum, tracing the waning & waxing of the Incan empires from as early as 1000 BC until finally falling to Spanish in the 16th century.
The Incas: A pictorial Tribute to Their Art & Culture
This site, lavishly illustrated and created by an Ecuadorian descendant of the Incas, explores the rich history of the Incan empires & the culture & highly developed arts & crafts of the society.
Machu Pichu, Peru
Machu Pichu is believed to have been built in the mid-15th century and was actively used until the early to mid-16th century.  This site provides a trio of hauntingly beautiful photos of Machu Pichu plus a brief profile.
Ancient China
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China the Middle Kingdom

Find information on the cultures that came together in the Yellow River Valley, the three Cultural Heroes,” and the Sage Kings.  This is followed by details of the Shang and Chou dynasties.  The Middle Kingdome tells the stories of the Ch’in, Han, Sui, T’ang, Sung, and Yuan dynasties.  Both Ancient China & the Middle Kingdom include information on Chinese philosophy.  A glossary is provided.

Daily Life in Ancient China

Introduction to ancient China.  The site covers the Shang, Chou, Han, T’ang, Zia dynasties, as well as a brief overview of China’s three main religious philosophies, namely Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism.  A handy timeline provides a quick overview of China’s history.
The Forbidden City
The Forbidden City was the home of the emperors of the Ming & Qing dynasties (1368-1911).  Take a virtual tour of the magnificent palace including the Watch Tower, Hall of Supreme Harmony, and Imperial Gardens.
History of China
Comprehensive history of China spans the period from the emergence of Xia dynasty through the rise of today’s Communist system.  Each section is divided into chapters concentrating on specific periods.


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Ellis Island Immigration Museum

This website is provided by ARAMARK to enhance your appreciation and enjoyment of the Ellis Island Immigration Museum.

Ellis Island Online
Search immigration records here.
Ellis Island
An online exhibit of Ellis Island from the History channel.


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Famous Americans: Biographies
American Philosophical Society
Philadelphia History From US History.org
Pennsylvania Historical Society
Laurie Halse Anderson
Eyewitness to History
Yellow Fever Epidemic 1793 From the Atwater Kent Museum.


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India Mystica
This website gives a complex  “clickable” diagram of beliefs and concepts of Hinduism so is a useful general guide.
This website gives a good description of Hindu concept of  God.


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The Prentice Hall School : Web Sites on Iraq

A list of several websites from InfoPlease which give timelines, brief history, country profile of Iraq and synopsis of current news.
Earth shots: Satellite Images of Environmental Changes

Satellite pictures of Iraq showing environmental damage between 1972 and 1990.

BBC News: Global Voices on Iraq

A website from BBC  which give different people’s opinions about the war around the world.

Washington Post Special Report on Iraq

Website with lots of background information about the current war in Iraq.

Pictures Inside Iraq
BBC website of pictures from Iraq just before the war.
A Family Affair: Iraq’s Ruling Class
Family history of Saddam Hussein; good information on leaders in Iraq today.
Middle East Online
A website that offers commentaries from the different perspectives of Arab countries.   Good for current news, not for background information.
Conflicts in the Middle East in the Electronic Passport
Site designed to help middle school students understand the events leading up to the September 11, 2001 attack. Interactive, with maps, timelines, good images. One sequence is on Saddam Hussein and Iraq
Iraqi Photos
Photographs of daily life in Iraq taken in 2002.


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 Kids Web Japan

 Kids Web Japan, an arm of the Japanese government’s Japan Information Network, offers an introduction to the country’s history that is designed to appeal to young people. The site offers a brief overview of Japan’s development from the days of the Jomon through the country’s entry into the United Nations in 1956. A timeline lists Japan’s major historical periods from the Paleolithic period to the 20th century’s Taisho, Showa, and Heisei eras. Japanese folk legends, cooking, and language are also discussed.


Part of Schauwecker’s Guide to Japan, a network of sites that cover virtually every aspect of Japanese culture, this site chronicles the island nation’s history from the Jomon period through the present. Also explored are Japan’s religions, samurai tradition, and the imperial family.


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Ancient History Sourcebook: A Collection of Contracts from Mesopotamia, c2300-428 BCE

Original documents tell us something about Mesopotamian transactions from sales, purchase, and rentals to marriage, divorce, and adoption.  Brief introductions set the scene and explain the contents.  The Gilgamesh text is here.

Ancient Tablets, Ancient Graves: Accessing Women’s Lives in Mesopotamia

Provides information and resources here about women’s rights, education, and religious roles in ancient Mesopotamia.

 Hammurabi Code of Law

The full, translated text is an important tool for understanding the ancient Mesopotamian concept of justice.
Medicine in Ancient Mesopotamia
Describes Mesopotamian Concepts of Disease and Healing, Mesopotamian Medical Practitioners, Other sources of Health Care, and more.
Electronic Passport: Mesopotamia: The Fertile Crescent
Describes the importance of Mesopotamia in world history, including why it is called the “Fertile Crescent;” which civilizations have lived there; ancient writing and number systems; and Hammurabi’s Code. Also includes links to other sites on Mesopotamia.


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Roman Coliseum Seating Provides a number of links to interesting sources about the coliseum.
Maps of the Roman Empire
Thirty-five links lead to maps of ancient Rome and the Roman Empire.  In addition to political maps, you’ll find maps of trade routes and products and maps of the world as it was them imagined.
This site, divided into sections on People, Mythology, Daily Life, Death & Burial, Writing and Archaeology, provides brief descriptions along with numerous photos of ancient Roman monuments, paintings, and sculptures.
The Burning of Rome, 64 AD In 64 AD, a fire in Rome destroyed 70% of the city.  On this page, you can read a first-hand account written by historian Tacitus.
Encyclopedia Roma Click on Roma to read about ancient temple architecture, the forum,. present-day ruins, and what you can see of ancient Rome in its modern museums.  The Notae link provides discussion of elements in every day life in ancient Rome (ex. wine, dogs, holidays, and libraries.  Under Nexus, you’ll find links to other sites about Rome.
Exploring Ancient World Cultures Index of Internet Resources: Image Index: Rome
This page consists of links to photos of Roman sites, Statues, mosaics, vases, and so forth.  Each is accompanied by brief text.  Many of the images can be enlarged.

Middle Ages

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NetSERF: the Internet Connection for Medieval Resources
This is a gateway site with links to more than 1,600 Web sites related to the Middle Ages.  The site offers two ways to track down resources. You may search the site’s entire database of links by key word or phrase, or browse the collection by topic. Topics include archaeology, architecture, art, Arthuriana, civilizations, culture, drama, history, law, literature, music, people, philosophy, religion, science and technology, women, and research center.

EyeWitness: History through the Eyes of Those Who Lived It

Firsthand information about the Invasion of England, 1066,  the Crusades, 1099; Thomas Becket’s murder, 1170, Richard the Lionheart,1191;  Kublai Khan, 1287; the Black Plague, 1348; Magellan, 1521; and crime and punishment in Elizabethan England.

Age of Discovery: Middle Ages

A gateway site featuring an Internet lesson that explores some the more common symbols and characteristics found in the art of the Middle Ages.  Explores a number of online resources that cover gargoyles, unicorns, and other mythical creatures as well as exploring illuminated manuscripts, castles, and tapestries.

Castles of the World

Comprehensive source of information about these monuments to the age of chivalry.  It provides brief descriptions and photos of castles from Austria to Wales, and under Castles for Kids, young people can read about a king in the Middle Ages and the castle in which he lived. A special section focuses on the key features of these medieval structures.

Castles of Britain

The Castle Learning Center, part of the organization Castles Unlimited,  provides insights into all aspects of castle construction, castle life, people, weapons…even the privy.

The Middle Ages Online

The centerpiece of this comprehensive site is its Index of Middle Ages Materials with subtopics as Armor Making, Arts and Literature, Games, Life and Times, and People. Included are the timeless legends of King Arthur and the quest for the Holy Grail.

The Middle Ages Web Site

This online guide to the period, created and maintained by Minnesota State University’s E-Museum, offers helpful insights into the living conditions, food, and clothing of this historical period. Visitors can learn more about the day-to-day life of a knight, merchant, nun, or peasant by selecting one of these figures to be their online guide.
New Advent: Crusades
This site, part of New Advent, home of the Online Catholic Encyclopedia, offers a good overview of this turbulent period in history, which stretched from 1095 to about 1270 a.d. The chronological account of the Crusades is liberally sprinkled with hot links to additional information about key people and places of this period.
Camelot Village
Site provides a colorful and interactive introduction to daily life in Britain during the Middle Ages. Highlights some of Britain’s historical places of the period, as well as Arthurian legends and daily life in the Middle Ages. On the homepage, select one of the village’s inhabitants–knight, woman, tradesman, lord, or entertainer–to learn more about their life.

Town Life

Beginning around 1000 A.D., Europe witnessed a rise in local commerce and external trade along with a decline in feudalism. Towns across the continent became bustling marketplaces for newly available goods. This site offers a brief overview of medieval town life. Other sections of the site examine feudal life, religion, homes, clothing, health, and arts and entertainment. There are also links to related resources.

Middle Ages: What was It Really Like to Live in the Middle Ages?

One of the most compelling sections of the site is Feudal Life, which explains not only how the feudal system of the Middle Ages operated but also its pervasive effects on all aspects of life. Other subjects explored in depth include Religion, Homes, Clothing, Health, Arts and Entertainment, and Town Life. You’ll also find links to related online resources, as well as a list of relevant print references.   Creation of Annenberg/CPB,

Orb: The Online Reference Book for Medieval Studies

ORB, written and maintained by medieval scholars, is a virtual guidebook to the Middle Ages and an invaluable resource for enthusiasts of this historical period. If you’re relatively new to medieval studies, we suggest you first consult the What Every Medievalist Should Know section, which offers recommended readings and other basic information about 45 medieval topics. The site also features an encyclopedia, library of textbooks, other resources for teaching, and links to some of the top sites about the Middle Ages.


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The Metropolitan Museum of Art:  The Art of Ancient Egypt

This site uses artwork from the Metropolitan Museum of Art collection to show the central role art played in Egyptian civilization. Ancient Egyptian people, their beliefs, their expression through art, and their view of the natural world are explored through drawings, sculptures, and other artifacts. View the special collection by theme, within a timeline, or within the site’s index of objects; you’ll find detailed information about each of the 40 works.

Pyramids: The Inside Story

At this PBS site, explore the great pyramids of Egypt and learn about the pharaohs and others who created these amazing structures. Here you will learn about Egypt’s history through a virtual visit to an excavation site and an interview with archaeologist Mark Lehner. You can investigate the excavation site through pictures and video clips of the pyramids and Great Sphinx.

Ancient Egypt

The information at this excellent British Museum site is broken down into 10 chapters: Egyptian Life, Geography, Gods & Goddesses, Mummification, Pharaoh, Pyramids, Temples, Time, Trades, and Writing.

Ancient Egypt

Written by an Egyptologist, this comprehensive site covers the history, culture, and language of Egypt. Within the History section, you’ll find brief essays on each ancient Egyptian period from the Early Dynastic to the Greek-Roman. A large section is devoted to Saqqara, the City of the Dead, which contains monuments, temples, and pyramids that are significant to the history of Egypt. An overview of ancient Egyptian language also is featured, as well as background information about hieroglyphs.

Mummies of Ancient Egypt

An introductory site on mummies from the University of Michigan. Sections include What Are Mummies?, How Are Mummies Made?, Who Were the Mummies?, and All About the Afterlife. Egyptian hieroglyphics, along with interpretations of Egyptian mythology and culture, are presented on each page. This site covers a great deal of history with very little text, so be sure to visit other sites if the Egyptians’ use of mummies intrigues you. Also be sure to visit Tomb Taleshttp://www.discovery.com/indep/newsfeatures/mummy/story.html, an excellent article describing the largest ancient Egyptian cemetery group ever discovered.

Ancient Egyptian Medicine

Learn about the process of dissection and vivisection, as well as information on other aspects of medicine.

Ancient Egyptian Culture

The ancient Egyptians were adept at mathematics and medicine. This page describes achievements related to the pulse, anatomy, and the understanding of mental pain. Although the text is rather short, many important details are presented along with beautiful pictures.

Carnegie Museum: Life in Ancient Egypt
When you think of ancient Egypt, you probably picture the pyramids. But what made this wondrous civilization possible was the longest river in the world: the Nile. The Natural World section of this site is important because so often that aspect of ancient Egypt is skipped. You can also explore well-written sections on Daily Life, Gods and Religion, and Funerary Customs.
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