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US History: Colonial Williamsburg (Free)

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Colonial Williamsburg

This site is maintained by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.  Colonial Williamsburg gives you a comprehensive look at what life was like during colonial times in America.  It is filled with images, audio clips, podcasts, slideshows, videos, live webcams, downloadable PDFs, games (for both adults and children), book recommendations, teaching resources, online collections,  and more.

This site is broken down into eight main sections  History, Education, Publication, Research, Museum, Debate, Multimedia, and Kids.

History

  • Learn more about the people of Williamsburg (the founders, businessmen, housewives, servants, slaves etc.).  Some of the people profiled include  Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Martha Washington, Gowan Pamphlet (preacher), Gaby Burwell (slave), Catherine Blaikley (midwife) and John Montour (Native American interpreter).
  • You can also learn about the clothing they wore, their gardens (past and present), historical places in Williamsburg, the occupations and trades of colonial people (apothecary, blacksmith, cooper, foodways, wheelwright etc.), and  The American Revolution (this is a separate website: www.ouramericanrevolution.org)
  • Learn about fifes and drums (downloads, audio clips, videos, etc.)
  • There is also an interactive map of the city which allows you to explore Colonial Williamsburg virtually.

Education

  • Learn more about in-person field trips, electronic field trips, downloadable lesson plans, and teacher resources.
  • Read select articles from their Teacher Gazette E-Newsletter online or sign up here to receive a copy of this free, monthly e-newsletter.
  • Learn about HERO, a  new multimedia library and e-learning environment sponsored by The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.  This is a subscription based service and homeschooling discounts are available.

Publication

  • Read the current Colonial Williamsburg Journal issue online.
  • You can view and search old issues of this journal as well (going back as far as 1992).
  • Shop for books, videos, DVD’s and music at their online store.

Research

Museum

  • Learn about the museums of Williamsburg and their collections.
  • Visit their Online Collection which includes images of architectural fragments, artwork, ceramics, costumes and accessories, furniture, glass, household items, maps, mechanical items, musical instruments, quilts,  textiles, tools and equipment, toys and more.
  • Visit their Online Exhibitswhich includes a Portrait of George Washington, Historical Threads: Three Centuries of Clothing, Conserving the Murray Sisters, Coins and Currency of Colonial America, Mapping Colonia America and more.
  • Videos, slideshows, podcasts and downloads are also available.

Debate

This section is called The Tavern, where citizens debate.  What is The Tavern?

“In 18th-century taverns, citizens exchanged ideas and opinions about the events of the day. The Tavern renews that tradition, featuring thoughtful commentary on current events and how they relate to American history and citizenship.” (The Tavern)

Read articles and blog posts, watch debates and subscribe to The Tavern updates in the Debate section.

Multimedia

  • Downloads, slideshows, video, podcasts, audio clips, ePostcards, an online photo store and games are all available in the Multimedia section.
  • View the city live through webcams (Multimedia section).  Live webcams capture video from outside The Raleigh Tavern, Merchants Square, the Capitol, the Courthouse, the Armoury and the Market House Reconstruction.

Kids

  • At the Kid’s Zone: Learn about colonial Williamsburg through games like Treasure Trek, Mr Jefferson’s Magic Maze, Coffee Bean Solitaire, Midnight Messenger, Colonial Gardener, Pardon or Pillory, Drum Corps Tryout and more.
  • Learn through activities like George Washington: Interactive Portrait, Colonial Word Search, Dirt Detective and more.
  • Download a Colonial Williamsburg coloring book.

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