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Timelines: Sources from History

People's Choice:
1 vote
The British Library
The Digital Learning Agency

Timelines: Sources from history is a ground-breaking, interactive, rich-media timeline that allows users to explore 800 years of British Library collection items chronologically. Bringing together material from the Library's vast collections and using cutting-edge Flash technology, users are able discover historical connections in an exciting multimedia experience. Timelines allows students to get a sense both of change and continuity when studying historical events.

Developed by the Library's Learning team with historians, curators and writers, the timeline includes some of the Library's key collection items from medieval times to the present day. Through the use of innovative Papervision3D Flash programming, users can visually travel through time, find sources, view transcripts, add items to favourites and switch timelines and key events at the click of a button. Scanning through centuries of images, audio-visual and printed material, users can explore various themed timelines, such as ‘everyday life', ‘music and literature' and ‘politics, power and rebellion'.

The overall objective of Timelines was to improve access to our collections for History students and teachers. More specifically:

1. Help students develop their understanding of historical, chronological change.

2. Enable students and teachers to better access original source material.

3. Develop a cost-effective and sustainable interface that would help users intuitively find and access content from all over the British Library’s website.

Timelines is an ongoing initiative for the British Library and new sources and themes will be added regularly. Teachers’ notes accompany the resource, providing a range of ideas for how to use the timeline in the classroom. A demo video shows the functionality of the timeline is available here -

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