Reference Blog Entries

Daily Life Through History

Katie's picture

One of our reference databases that I find most interesting is Daily Life Through History. It allows you to revisit past times and places throughout history and learn what a typical day was like for the people living there, including details of their home life, diets, and common ceremonies. Here are some examples of the great stuff you can explore:

  • The location of Cahokia: It was a settlement in the Southeast/Midwest region of North America during the years 900-1500 AD. It was about the size that London is today and was populated by the Mississippian culture, who constructed mound dwellings and excelled at stone carving, pottery, woodwork, weaponry, and agriculture.
  • Sports and recreation during the Han Dynasty: During this dynasty, which reigned from 260-220 BC, people commonly enjoyed activities such as archery, fencing, boxing, equestrian activities, and even an early version of tug of war. Their sports and physical education were strongly influenced at that time by military training practices.
  • Education in British and Dutch Africa: The database discusses African education mainly during the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries and explained that young children primarily learned about traditions, customs, and cultures by observing and imitating their elders. Upon their initiation into adulthood, they began a period of more formal education.
  • Food and drink in Victorian England: The working class and rural laborers in the early 1800's had diets that consisted mainly of bread, potatoes, and tea with bacon added for flavoring once or twice a week. Middle and upper class families enjoyed a more diverse menu which could include vegetable-marrow soup, lemon dumplings, boiled mackerel, and macaroni and cheese.

If you've got a time period or culture that you're interested in, you should definitely check out this database to learn more about how the people actually lived.

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Riots - Part of Our History

Laura's picture

A riot is a violent act committed by a mob of people in retaliation to a perceived injustice – a form civil disobedience that gets out of hand. The recent Image - Riotriots in Baltimore, Maryland are part of a long list of riots that have occurred in our country’s history.  Many started because of racial tensions, but many occurred for various other reasons. 

Here are a few examples of the most notorious ones. 

All of these are covered in the Gale Database called Disasters and Tragic Events.  View these sample articles by clicking on the lines above and then entering your library card number. 

You will find that each event is described in a one-or two-page synopsis. Many of the articles are illustrated with newspaper etchings, drawings or photographs of the time. References are listed at the end of the article.  Links to related stories are also provided.   

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