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The Vietnam Center and Archive


Found in: social studies, 6-8, 9-12

The Vietnam Center and Archive is a growing grade 6-12 history resource with exhibits, classroom instruction, educational programs, and publications covering all aspects of the American Vietnam experience. The website has a growing collection of lessons. At this point, lessons are for grades 6-12 but the archive plans to add elementary lessons. Teachers can Submit Materials.

A notable exception to the American point-of-view is the Tram Diaries, the diaries (1968-1970) of Dr. Dang Thuy Tram, published in English as Last Night I Dreamed of Peace. The English translations have been removed from the website though images of the Vietnamese originals remain. Dr. Dang Thuy Tram provided medical care to soldiers of the North until she was killed by an American patrol in 1970.

The Virtual Vietnam Archive houses documents and manuscripts, still and moving images, audio recordings, oral histories, maps, artifacts, and more. Two search tutorials are provided. Virtual Vietnam Archive Tutorial (  PDF, 1.1 MB, 24 pgs.) and Maps Database Tutorial (  PDF, 606 KB, 17 pgs.)

Online Exhibits highlight contributions of all the services as well as focusing on the reliance on helicopters, medical support, the Tet Offensive (1968), and the Fall of Saigon (1975).

Researching Online (Digital Materials) explains the various ways students can access the archive’s resources.

Subject Guides gather resources under commonly searched heading. The Tet Offensive, for example, groups resources by medium and provides a list of keywords to use in addition to “Tet Offensive” when searching the archive.

Oral History Project Interviews houses audio and, in many cases, offers transcripts of interviews as PDFs.

Index of Images provides one way to view images on the website. Each image includes a description, date, and other information.

In addition, PBS American Experience produced three programs on the Vietnam War. Vietnam Online is a companion to Vietnam: A Television History and includes primary sources, maps, and a teacher’s guide with classroom activities. My Lai has selected biographies of men involved, a photo gallery, and interviews, one with author Tim O’Brien. Last Days in Vietnam is the most recent film and covers the evacuation of Saigon on April 30, 1975.

My Lai and Last Days in Vietnam can be viewed for free online. DVDs of all the programs are in many public libraries.

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