Material Detail

The Valley of the Shadow

The Valley of the Shadow

An interactive site that has students browse reproductions of records and documents pertaining to two similar towns in Pennsylvania and Virginia just before and during the Civil War to determine for themselves how the issues of the day and events of everyday life. affected ordinary people


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Terri Milroy
Terri Milroy (Faculty)
12 years ago

The amount of information here for US History classes in particular is priceless. Primary documentation is rarely so easy to find, or catalogued in a manner that is so user friendly. I see these materials as being valuable both as research sources and as springboards for discussions on a host of American History topics.

Technical Remarks:

The site is easy to navigate, but even better is the link that describes how materials are organized, for those who might be intimidated by the initial presentation.

Time spent reviewing site: 30 minutes
Don Mercy
Don Mercy (Student)
19 years ago
Valley of the Shadows is a web site that deals with primary resources to tell
the story of two towns before, during, and after the Civil War. The wealth of
knowledge that history enthusiasts can gain from this web site is incredible.
The primary information seems endless. Examining the primary information is a
rewarding experience that is made easy with the wealth of information that is
available. The interactivity creates an excellent learning experience for
visual learners.

Technical Remarks:

The maps clearly excel with technical value. The web site is a work of art when
you consider the development of the overall plan of the site. The site map is
unique and easy to use. The information that is available from the site is
clearly laid in such a way that you don?t feel overwhelmed or confused. The
lesson plans that are available will make this work of art, easy to use in a
classroom. The site is geared more for college but those in the secondary
schools that can take the time to analyze the information may be able to use the
material. The web site can be used over and over again to find valuable
information for any topic that deals with this time period.
Used in course? Yes
will simson
will simson (Faculty)
20 years ago
Winner of the 2001 eLincoln award given to distinguished Civil War historical projects annually through Gettysburg College, created under the guidance of the respected historian Edward L. Ayers (and others) Valley in the Shadow is one many University of Virginia anchored historical sites that provide first rate scholarly resources for instructors and students. Not only does this site serve as a window into antebellum and Civil War era lifeways and culture through primary materials from Virginia's Augusta County and Franklin County, Pennsylvania, the creators also saw fit to provide grammar school, high school, and college level learning objects--for creative writing and traditional essay lessons, each with several possible subjects. The materials digitized for the site include periodicals, letters, diaries, photographs, maps, church records, population census, agricultural census, and military records. Women, African Americans, farmers, politicians, soldiers, and families are represented. The site provides for easy navigation and is separated into antebellum sources and those covering the war years. Subjects include death and dying, defenses of slavery, post-emancipation lifeways, attitudes about slavery, occupations of the 1860s, debates over secession and unionism, the impact of railroads, German and Irish immigration, and many others subjects. WS