Revolutionary Teaching Tool to Be Used in Classrooms

Posted: June 5, 2001 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Michelle Nery

More than 600 hard-to-find images, primary documents, songs, and maps gathered from repositories in France and the United States bring the French Revolution to life in Liberty, Equality, Fraternity: Exploring the French Revolution. This combination textbook, CD-ROM, and web site will be used in classes at George Mason and at the University of California at Irvine this summer. The text was written and edited by Jack Censer, chair of the Department of History and Art History, and Lynn Hunt, professor of history at the University of California at Los Angeles.

The companion CD-ROM and supporting web site were developed with the support of the American Social History Project at the City University of New York and the Center for History and New Media at George Mason. The CD-ROM includes 350 translated primary documents displayed in their proper historical context; 275 images including caricatures, portraits, sculptures, and photographs of artifacts; 13 songs; and 13 maps. Many of these images and documents were previously only available to specialists in the field.

According to Censer, “There is much more information in the textbook, CD-ROM, and web site in English than in the library.” The CD-ROM has been designed to make the reading and taking notes easy. “If students are working on a research paper, they can search easily by keyword. Everything is printable and downloadable and they can highlight in four colors, take notes, dog-ear pages, and keep records of everything,” Censer says.

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