Your Library Staff at Home- Arts and Culture Online

This week we are profiling the online resources of The Henry Ford.

The Henry Ford

Located in Dearborn, Michigan, a short drive from Detroit, this institution boasts a collection of objects from 300 years of American history. The museum was dedicated on October 21, 1929 and opened to the public in 1933. For the first 10 years visitors dealt with construction as the exhibits weren’t fully complete until the early 1940s. You can learn more about the history of the campus here on their History & Mission page.

While the museum and campus are closed, the website features many digital resources.

Their Virtual Visit page is a great place to start your exploration. Here you will find a list of objects with links to the Ford’s Google Maps project from 2015. The photos give you a better sense of scale of these artifacts and allow for 360 degree experience. A great example is the museum’s towering Allegheny Steam Locomotive. There are also links to the object’s record in the Digital Collections.

The Digital Collections can be explored much like the other institutions we have highlighted in these posts. Additionally there are the Expert Sets. These curated groupings are a great resource for educators building lesson plans as well as individuals looking for a more structured way of exploring the vast collection.

For researchers there is the Digital Resources page. There are Research Databases which include oral histories, the library’s catalog, photographs, and historic films.

A really interesting resource is their collection of historic Cookbooks. You can see what the people in the past ate and get some ideas for your own culinary efforts.

The Henry Ford has many education resources on their Online Learning Resources and Activities page. The available programs are arranged by grade level for easy navigation and their Innovation Program is currently free for public.

Your Library Staff at Home- Arts and Culture Online

Today we are highlighting an institution with collections and archives about state history. There are some great tools and resources below for educators and parents as well as researchers and genealogists.

Ohio History Connection

The Ohio History Collection, formally the Ohio Historical Society, is a non-profit that has been around since 1885. They provide Ohio history services, house the state archive, and manage over 50 historical sites all across Ohio.

Their Learn at Home page from the museum’s education department breaks down their lessons into different levels of learning:




Adult Learners

Each section has different topics for you to choose from along with recommend grade level. When you select a topic you will see links to lesson plans, activities/prompts, and videos. Have questions about one of the topics or resources? During this closure you are able to Ask the Museum Educator.

Their Youtube Channel offers videos on a wide range of topics. You will find videos of historical reenactors, exhibition highlights, behind the scene looks, and curators using the collection to discuss different moments in the state’s history.

Their Digital Resource page features all their digital collections and can be a great place to start if you are beginning your search into what they have available. Here you will finds links to:

If you are looking for historical images or interactive Digital Collections page offers even more resources.

Your Library Staff at Home- Arts and Culture Online

This week we are featuring the virtual resources of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Founded in 1879 this art museum is one of the nation’s oldest and largest. Their virtual resource page, Visit us Virtually, has a curated collection of what they offer while the building itself is closed. Though all of there resources are available at any time.

Their temporary exhibition El Greco: Ambition and Defiance has a page with ways the viewer can see and experience the work while the museum is closed.

Their Collection Page showcases their impressive holdings, including this famous piece.

American Gothic, Grant Wood, Oil on Beaver Board, 1930- The Art Institute of Chicago-

If you scroll down on each of the object’s individual pages you will see a link to Multimedia, which offers video and audio resources, and Educational Resources, which offers teacher guides about the work.

For parents and educators there is a wealth of resources when creating lesson plans. Their Educator Resource page has packets on select objects that include background on the object, maker information, vocabulary, and history on the time it was made.

Their interactive Journey Maker uses themes to create a custom map of different objects in the museum. A great tool for when you are exploring the museum in person, it is still an engaging way for learners to explore the collection digitally.

You can also check out the Get Creative at Home webpage for creative activity prompts, writing prompts, and even coloring book pages based on some of the most well known pieces in the collection.

Their Youtube Channel features their virtual tours, past recorded lectures, educational videos about objects and artists, and past promotional videos.

Additionally, the museum offers Audio Tours, Interactive Articles, Digital Publications, and a Blog. The Blog features articles about the collection, conservation efforts, artist profiles and dispatches from their staff at home.

In the artcile It Broke: Dispatch from a Homeschooling Conservator, Rachel Sabino writes about how she is using toy repair as an opportunity teach her 5 year old about materials and the day to day of her job.