Created by the American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning at The Graduate Center, City University of New York, HERB is a database of primary documents, classroom activities, and other teaching tools in U.S. history. Named in honor of ASHP/CML's co-founder, labor historian Herbert Gutman, HERB reflects ASHP/CML's mission of making the past, and the working people and ordinary Americans who shaped it, vivid and meaningful.
Since 1989, educators at ASHP/CML have worked with K-12 and college instructors in professional development seminars in New York City and around the country. Over the years, we have developed an extensive archive of primary documents, teaching strategies, and other resources that look at how ordinary people both influenced and were influenced by the nation's economic and political transformations. Until now, only teachers who participated in our seminars had access to these materials. We created HERB to share these resources with a wider public. We hope teachers, students, and those who love to learn about the past will use HERB to improve their understanding and teaching of United States history.
HERB's resources engage students with deep historical questions and are designed to support learning at every level. Our teaching collection is especially strong in topics like the ongoing struggle for full equality and civil rights; emancipation, the Civil War, and Reconstruction; the social, political, and economic changes wrought by immigration and migration; and the causes and consequences of U.S. expansion around the world.
There are several ways to navigate HERB. From our home page, users can do a keyword search or browse by historical era or theme. Explore the tag cloud to get a sense of what is in our collection. Or got to our Collections to find primary sources, teaching activities, and historical understandings organized by historical topic or pedagogical approach. Teachers may also want to see our full list of teaching activities. You can email any resource you find to yourself or a colleague using the envelope icon on every page.
We have edited almost all of HERB's documents (without using ellipses) to make them more classroom-friendly; in some cases, there are versions that are even shorter (titled "short version.") If a complete version of a document in available online, we have indicated the URL in the source field. If a document as added vocabulary, questions, or other interventions to support student reading and analysis, it is titled "with text supports" and also has the tag "Reading Supports." In addition, you can copy and paste content from any of HERB's PDF files into a new document in order to customize it further for your students.