Korean world map

World Digital Library

The World Digital Library is a free online archive of over 19,000 culturally significant primary source materials from around the world.
Spread of humanity map thumbnail

World History for Us All

Its units and lesson plans utilize a range of primary sources, which revolve around three themes are: Humans and the Environment, Humans and Other Humans, Humans and Ideas.
Map of the earth showing areas where lights can be seen from space at night

World Light Map


In "38 maps that explain the global economy", Matthew Yglesias has captured for Vox the prominent features of our contemporary global economy and society. For example, this map from NASA is a composite satellite image that shows how each region of the world appears at night. The lights,... Read More »

Letter to Santa thumbnail

Writing a Letter to Santa


Whether known as Saint Nicholas, Sinterklaas, Father Christmas, Kris Kringle, Babbo Natale, Christkind, Père Noël, Santa Claus ("Santa") or by many other names, this legendary gift-giver in European folklore and hagiography is well known around the world.

Writing a letter to Santa is among the numerous traditions surrounding Christmas. Although in 1889, Thomas Nast—the caricaturist... Read More »

Coral image shows a series of wavy striped lines

X-ray of a cross-section of a coral core


World historians who study environmental history sometimes sometimes seek out atypical sources to conduct their research. While a traditional historian may visit an archive to examine governmental records or a collection of personal papers, an archive for an environmental historian might be a crosscut of a tree showing its... Read More »

Thumbnail of Yin Yu Tang home

Yin Yu Tang: A Chinese Home


The Yin Yu Tang house provides a perspective on childhood in a period that bridges the conclusion of the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) and the rise of a new 20th-century republic in China. The house was built for a merchant family named Huang at the turn of the 19th century and, with the consent of later generations of the Huang family, would be... Read More »

Thumbnail of Yoruba cloth

Yoruba Handwoven Baby Wrapper, Nigeria


Handwoven by a woman in Nigeria, this traditional Yoruba cloth that is tied around the mother’s waist is used as a baby carrier. The baby sits snugly against her mother’s back; her legs wrap around her mother’s waist. The mother’s hands remain free to work or carry other things. The Yoruba wrapper measures 72 inches (183 cm) long and 16 inches (41 cm) wide. Hand loomed of cotton, the ends are... Read More »

Young Alcoholics in the Soviet Union


Before the era of the Gorbachev reforms, social and health problems could not be easily discussed in the Soviet Union. The emphasis for public health was on keeping people healthy so that they could work better and more productively. Alcoholism remained a persistent problem for the Soviet Union; its frequent appearance as the subject matter in Soviet posters suggests the problem was widespread... Read More »

Video still of "Steps" thumbnail image

Young Voices on Disability, India


Yellamma Gangadhar is a young woman who relies on a wheelchair for mobility. Her film tells the story of abandonment by her parents at a bus station in Bangalore, India, subsequent help from the Leonard Cheshire home in the city, and the college education she acquired with great difficulty. The struggle featured in the film is access discrimination. She describes the necessity of climbing 25... Read More »

Yugoslavia: The Outworn Structure


Yugoslavia did not have tremendous success as a unified political entity. Tensions among the various nationalities inside Yugoslavia's border always threatened to undermine the control of the Communists. In order to address these longstanding and threatening tensions, in 1971, the Yugoslavian Communist Party prepared a set of sweeping reforms to create semi-autonomous regions to provide some... Read More »