Site URL: www.digitalvaults.org
Content: The National Archives Experience Digital Vaults site is filled with scanned copies of original documents, letters, posters, artwork and more. Each piece of content is accompanied by a brief description and a few facts about it, or the person who created it.
Design: The easy-to-navigate and engaging site is a collage of sorts, featuring thumbnails of the documents and other content. When you mouse over any document, it appears in a larger box with the option to get more information. Users can also locate similar documents using tag searches and filters.
Review: In terms of making history truly come alive, nothing beats seeing a hand-written document from someone who previously you’ve only read about. No longer is that person a static name on a page; instead he or she is someone who held a pen (or quill) and wrote those words. This site delivers not only the special magic of the documents, but also digestible facts and notes. Kids will appreciate the cool aesthetics of the site while also learning tidbits of history and developing an appetite for more.
Bottom Line: This site is perfect for bringing history alive. It has tremendous potential for launching classroom activities—including Webquests, research projects (as a jumping off point) and more.