Media Resource

Ask an NEH Expert: Using Digital Archives

Digital archives have the power to bring library and museum collections directly to your screen! In this video, Heather Bender, Native Education Outreach Specialist at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Dr. Alvin Logan, Jr., Director of Education and Affiliate Curator for African Culture and Education at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, and Dr. Brian P. Jones, Director of Center for Educators and Schools at the New York Public Library share information about their digital collections and how they can best be used for project research.  

Questions for Analysis and Comprehension 

These questions can be used before viewing the video to brainstorm ideas and preview the concepts discussed in the interviews, or after watching as a way to reflect.  

  1. What role do digital archives play in larger preservation projects? 
  2. How can digital collections highlight different perspectives? 
  3. What are the advantages to working with digital collections rather than visiting an archive in person? What disadvantages might there be? 
  4. When using digital archives, why is it still important to seek guidance from an archivist or librarian? 


This video is one in a series on historical research and writing developed through a collaboration between the National Endowment for the Humanities and National History Day.