Connect to the Past through Local History

Primary sources and teaching resources about Essex County.

Image courtesy of the Ipswich Public Library.

What is Using Essex History?

Using Essex History brings together teaching resources collected and produced between two past programs, Using Essex History (UEH) and Local In a National Context (LINCs). These materials mostly consist of primary sources about the Essex County area.

The History

Using Essex History (UEH) was a highly successful program aimed at training middle school and high school teachers in ways to improve the relevancy of American history for their students by providing developmental seminars and instruction on creating curricula based on local historical assets. Using Essex History was supported by a Teaching American History grant and 130 teachers from around Essex County participated between 2006 and 2009.

Essex LINCs (Local In a National Context) connected Essex County elementary teachers with local scholarship and primary source material. During visits to historical sites throughout Essex County and beyond, teachers learned how to infuse their social studies lessons with stories, places, and artifacts that make history relevant for the future stewards of the heritage area. The project was funded with a Teaching American History grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Over 140 teachers participated between 2008 to 2011.

For both programs, core partners included Beverly Public Schools, Essex Heritage, Salem State University, and the National Archives And Records Administration – Northeast Region. Special thanks to academic directors and program coordinators Brad Austin, Bethany Jay, Robert Dunn, Elizabeth Duclos-Orsello, and Sheilagh Doerfler from Salem State University for organizing the workshops and summer institutes. We particularly want to thank LINCs’ museum educator Rebecca Zimmerman, who researched many of the primary sources and produced many of the teaching materials for this latter program. Thank you also to the hundreds of teachers and the county-wide consortium of school districts who have participated in Using Essex Heritage and LINCs over the years.

In addition to compiling the existing teaching materials of Using Essex History and LINCs, Essex Heritage is also open to further developing the website with new resources that reflect the diverse geography and history of Essex County. We encourage organizations and individuals to reach out if you have materials to add to the collection.

Educators, students, and community members are encouraged to explore Using Essex History.

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