Dusty Old Documents Without The Dust

Nothing makes history come alive better than studying original documents--letters, diaries, sketches, newspaper clippings, and so forth--that were created in the past. Now, with a personal computer and a CD-ROM drive, high school students can get their hands on the next best thing: digitized copies.

Research Publications International, which already publishes historical documents on microfilm, is creating a series of CD-ROM disks crammed full of images of unedited materials along with annotations. Students can browse through some 200 documents and 500 images as well as a collection of sound clips.

The disks are set up to let students instantly jump to related materials at any step of the way. The first two titles are Women in America and Westward Expansion. The Civil War and The African American Experience will follow. Pricing: $179 per disk for a limited promotional period; after that, $629 for all four disks.

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