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Gift of
Alexander Papamarkou

The Harissios Papamarkou Chair in Education

A generous gift from Alexander Papamarkou (deceased 1998) in honor of his grandfather established The Harissios Papamarkou Chair in Education at the Library of Congress. The scholar filling this position beginning in the year 2000 will lead the Library’s educational initiatives in the National Digital Library.

The National Digital Library is rapidly expanding, both in the number of historic collections online and in the number of users. It has become one of the most frequently visited sites on the Internet. Ongoing evaluations of the project show that teachers and students are using the collections and are eager for more. The materials are stimulating educators and students across the country and starting a revolution in the way history is taught. With access to the primary documents of American history — presidential papers, hand-written drafts of the Declaration of Independence and the Gettysburg Address, Revolutionary War maps, Civil War photographs, early documentary films and sound recordings — teachers and students are learning to go to original sources to learn about history. This has the added benefit of teaching students to think critically and to delve further into books and other sources for answers to questions that are raised by the electronic materials.

The Library’s educational advisors in this initiative, hired on contract through a grant from the Kellogg Foundation, have helped us get us on the right track in selecting collections that are the most educationally useful to the K-12 community. The Library’s small staff of educational specialists are continually developing online tools and other programs to help teachers learn to use the National Digital Library effectively.

The scholar filling the Papamarkou Chair will be a first-class educational expert who will take the lead in the important task of integrating this new electronic resource into the nation’s education system. There is already a strong movement — supported by foundations, business and government — to “hook-up” schools to the Internet. Our main concern is that schools and homes have access to high quality educational materials, easily accessible and complementary to the educational curricula. With a strong leader, we can make a vital contribution to education by spurring the use of this important new resource.







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