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)

Using ESSEX History (Using Evidence, Scholarship, and Sources to Explore History) was a highly successful program that supported middle school and high school teachers in improving the relevancy of American history for their students. The program provided developmental seminars encouraging the creation of curricula that integrate 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 National Heritage Commission, Salem State University, and the National Archives And Records Administration – Northeast Region. Special thanks to academic directors and program coordinators for organizing the workshops and summer institutes: Brad Austin, Sheilagh Doerfler, Elizabeth Duclos-Orsello, and Bethany Jay. We particularly want to acknowledge UEH research coordinator Ilse Allen and LINCs’ museum educator Rebecca Zimmerman, who researched many of the primary sources and produced many of the teaching materials for these programs. 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.

Please note that the collection of primary sources on this website does not represent all materials from the two programs. Hundreds of lesson plans produced by participating teachers and UEH and LINCs staff over the years have also been omitted from the website at this time because of changing frameworks.

In addition to compiling the existing materials of Using Essex History and LINCs, Essex Heritage will further develop the website with new primary sources and teaching resources, collected and produced for future education programs, that reflect the diverse geography and history of Essex County.

First among these recent programs, Teaching Hidden Histories builds on the successes of the Using Essex History program by offering workshops that utilize our region’s wealth of local stories and sources that illuminate larger historic themes. Join us to find ways to help students understand some of the lesser-known but vitally important histories of traditionally marginalized groups in our region and to engage with these histories’ relevance in today’s world.