Internet Archive

Recently, I was sourcing material for a course of my own and discovered Internet Archive, “a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more.” I love Wikisource for old texts, but Internet Archive takes the cake. Take, for example, the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave:

One of the advantages of using this resource over others is that I get access to the text in its original form, and Internet Archive’s interactive book reader can be embedded into a course; and, as if that wasn’t enough, I can also view the text full screen and/or have it read to me.

Internet Archive has a large inventory of sound files as well, and sometimes, I want a student to read something to which s/he could just as easily listen. Earlier this week, for example, I was looking for a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence (assigned reading in a course I’m developing) and found John F. Kennedy’s from July 4, 1960:

Obviously, John F. Kennedy’s reading adds value beyond simply providing students with a sound file ; in fact, it has the potential to expand a discussion of the Declaration of Independence to include Kennedy’s own relationship with Jefferson’s words.