Gale Literature Resource Center Enhances to Support Primary Source Literacy and Instruction in the Classroom

New Portals, Integrations and Curated Sets of Historical Documents Support Primary Source Literacy and Development of Critical Thinking Skills

Gale, part of Cengage Group has made major enhancements to Gale Literature Resource Center (LRC). The company has added new curated sets of primary sources and historical documents along with a host of other new and improved features to support primary source literacy and instruction. Developed based on user feedback, these updates were designed to make conceptualizing primary source documents easier for students who are less familiar using these resources, as well as provide instructors and librarians with content to contextualize literary works and serve as models to support primary source literacy.

“Primary source databases contain millions of historical documents, which can be overwhelming and time-consuming for novice researchers and instructors developing coursework,” said Seth Cayley, vice president of global academic product at Gale. “LRC provides an approachable starting point with focused sets of primary sources that are easier to analyze and consume. This helps users understand the materials better, making connections and comparisons that open up new research possibilities and unique ways to interrogate literary works.” 

LRC’s updates include:

  • Primary Source & Historical Documents Curated Sets: provide a selection of materials that are approachable for students who may not be familiar with using primary sources within literature disciplines. The sets model conceptualization, a skill that includes distinguishing between primary and secondary sources and using primary sources to generate and refine research questions. These collections of resources provide instructors ready-made materials for discussion or a reference point for students to use in expanding their research questions. Set pages can be bookmarked for use in LibGuides, syllabi or learning management systems.
  • Native PDF Access: offers easy access to native PDF documents through a new tab on the document page. Researchers are always presented with the HTML text first, for greater accessibility. Streamlined access meets the needs of researchers who want to view the original document without the extra step of downloading.
  • Work and Topic Portals: build hubs of content around a work of literature or topic to support and simplify common workflows. Newer researchers will gain confidence quickly through portals that provide an entry point into the wealth of diverse content available in LRC.
  • Gale College Collection Integration: expands on more than 80,000 original works found in LRC by providing students access to novels, poems and more via Gale College Collection, a resource previously only available through Cengage MindTap courses. Access to works being studied supports equity initiatives and simplifies access for students who are searching for specific parts of the text for review or quoting.

Seventy of the new curated sets are available now, with 100 sets available by August 1. To ensure inclusion of diverse authors from all time periods, literary works were selected from most-studied and lesser-studied works, with a mix of classic and contemporary authors represented. Some of the literary works include: The Odyssey, Hamlet, The Red Convertible, Jane Eyre, The Underground Railroad, Frankenstein, Crime and Punishment and Fences.

LRC provides a seamless research experience that helps students find a starting point, search across a wide variety of materials and time periods and discover new ways to analyze information. A diverse, hybrid database containing academic journals and award-winning biographical and contextual materials, LRC supports interdisciplinary approaches to the development of critical thinking skills and information literacy. The new curated sets add to the wide-ranging content included in LRC with 50% of the sets focused on works written by traditionally underrepresented and international authors that build upon the substantial volume of existing content that supports DEI initiatives. LRC is for upper-level high school and college students as well as public libraries that support academic and high school communities.

Gale will showcase LRC’s enhancements at the ALA Annual Conference, June 28-July 1 in San Diego at the Gale booth #1317.

The American Consortium for Equity in Education, publisher of the "Equity & Access" journal, celebrates and connects the educators, associations, community partners and industry leaders who are working to solve problems and create a more equitable environment for historically underserved pre K-12 students throughout the United States.

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