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Workshop for K-12 Educators

"Mining for Minerals: The Pull of the West"
With Kathryn Morse, Middlebury College

Saturday, June 22, 2013 - 9:00am to 3:00pm

Independent Gold HunterWestern gold and silver mining camps and towns drew thousands of miners in the years after 1848, from all over the world, and from a wide range of race, class, national and ethnic origins. Mining drove rapid economic growth in California and Nevada, along with environmental transformation, native dispossession, and, in some cases, violent social conflict. Gold and silver miners struggled through their labors with the meanings of hard work and wealth—and the tenuous connections between them—in an industrializing economy.

This program will explore these themes through a lecture/discussion with Dr. Kathryn Morse and a series of interactive workshops in which participants will be able to examine first-hand a variety of historic texts and images from the American Antiquarian Society’s rich collections of pre-1876 imprints. Primary sources from this period lend themselves to a multidisciplinary approach, ranging from cartoons and other visual materials, to miners’ letters and newspaper accounts, to Bret Harte’s poems and Mark Twain’s famous Roughing It. Investigating and examining a variety of primary sources and discussing how to use them effectively in the classroom will be a major component of the day. This will include a discussion of connections to the English Language Arts and History Common Core standards. Participants will receive materials for use in their classrooms and professional development points for attending the session.