Online Resources For Educators

History Center Curriculum Materials

Access themed Curriculum Packages that bring period maps, photographs, letters, and diaries into the classroom and find engaging classroom and museum-based activity suggestions that support our education programs on the History Center’s Learning Lab collections pages. Visit the History Center’s Learning Lab page to explore these resources.

These packages also include student reading materials and classroom lesson plans.

Historic Pittsburgh

Historic Pittsburgh is a freely-accessible collection of digitized historic maps, films, documents, texts, and over 35,000 photographs related to Western Pennsylvania history. Educators can use this website to dive into digitized historic material held by over a dozen participating local libraries, archives, museums and historical societies, including the History Center’s Detre Library & Archives and the University of Pittsburgh’s University Library System. Teachers are invited to explore Historic Pittsburgh.

First Peoples

Find lesson plans and materials through the Meadowcroft education webpage for self-guided explorations of the Meadowcroft Rockshelter, a National Historic Landmark. Using primary resource material from the intensive study of the Rockshelter, high-resolution GigaPan images, and multimedia content, students will investigate the secrets of the “First Peoples” and the interdisciplinary approach of the experts who continue to study the Rockshelter. Inquiry-based explorations focus on the following topics:

Meadowcroft Rockshelter Overview: Explore the secrets of Meadowcroft Rockshelter and the significance of the site in North American archaeology.

Archaeology at Meadowcroft Rockshelter: Investigate the methodologies used by the experts who excavated the Rockshelter and explore the evidence left by the First Peoples.

Cross Creek Ecology: Explore the geography and ecology of the Cross Creek watershed to determine how the natural world impacted the lives of the First Peoples.

A Geologic History of the Meadowcroft Rockshelter: Discover the geologic forces that shaped the Cross Creek watershed, created the Rockshelter, and impacted the subsequent stratigraphy of the site.

The Cultural Significance of the Meadowcroft Rockshelter: Uncover cultural evidence from Meadowcroft Rockshelter to understand the cultural progression of First Peoples in North America.

For more information on programs or educational materials contact Meadowcroft’s Education and Program Manager Andrew Donovan at or 724-587-3412.