Historical Images and Maps for Notebooking

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You may know that for our history studies, we take a living books approach, reading quality literature instead of using a textbook. Since early this year, we have been using Heritage History digital eBooks as our history curriculum, first on a Kindle for Ancient Rome, and now on an iPad for the Middle Ages.

Besides the foundation of living books, Heritage History is a notebooking-friendly curriculum choice. Notebooking is the recommended narration technique, and each curriculum library includes image files of all the illustrations and maps from the public domain books included in each collection (plus some relevant extras).

So if you are using the British Middle Ages, like I am, your CD includes all of the maps and images from the fifty-five books in that collection (plus more). These are perfect for notebooking.

I encourage you to try Heritage History for your history curriculum or just for extra literature selections. But even if you don’t,  Heritage History has made a huge selection of images and maps available for free on their website. They are such generous folks!

1. Historical Image Directory

2. Historical Map Directory


These directories are easy to search and contain public domain images with very generous terms of use:

Heritage History permits the use of maps and images from its Compact Libraries only for personal and educational use. They can be freely used by students or instructors in slide-shows, power-point presentations, projects, reports, or videos, as long as they are employed for personal or educational purposes and are not distributed or used for commercial purposes.

(Read their full terms of use for details.)

An Example Notebooking Page

Here is a simple notebooking page my daughter worked on recently. We finished reading about the Anglo-Saxon kings of England, and were about to move on to the Norman kings. But instead, I took a day to review all we had studied with the help of a diagram I found online (read more here) and several pertinent historical maps that I got from my Heritage History CD. (The maps were already in full color.)

First Home of the English, outlining where the Jutes, Angles, Danes, and Frisians lived.

English (Anglo Saxon) Conquest of Britain showing the extent of power over several hundred years.

A few notes beside the maps demonstrated to me that my teen understood the big ideas of what we had studied. Now I have a sense that we have wrapped up one period of history and are ready to move on to the next.

 Why use these directories from Heritage History instead of a Google image search?

First of all, these smaller directories are safe. There is nothing unseemly on the Heritage History site. With Google, you never know what might pop up in an image search.

Secondly, the images are clearly labeled, including the date. It’s one thing to find an image; it’s quite another to know what time period it represents.

Lastly, finding an obscure historical image or map can be very difficult with a general search. On the other hand, finding a general image can also be a challenge. Maybe you want some images of early America but you are not really sure exactly what you want. The search functions at Heritage History allow you to browse within a civilization to find something that suits you.

You won’t find every possible historical image or map on Heritage History’s site. But you will find a lot!

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Jimmie Quick

Jimmie is now a veteran homeschool mom. Her daughter Emma is a student of the sciences at a large university in Illinois. Her guide to notebooking—Notebooking Success—guides you through notebooking: what it is; how to use it; how it fits a Charlotte Mason, classical, and textbook curriculum; tips for getting the most educational value from it; and much more. It comes bundled with several bonuses, including a small set of generic notebooking pages that can be used with any topic.

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Eddie - The Usual Mayhem Reply

I’m making notes and bookmarking this for next year. It’s so helpful to me that Emma’s a year older than M – I can read through what you’re using to guide my choices when I get overwhelmed! Thanks for sharing.

Barb-Harmony Art Mom Reply

We have been using the image index on HH’s website this year too. They really fancy up a plain notebook page AND they are great for supporting our learning.

Great information Jimmie.

Corrie Reply

My daughter is in Kindergarten. We went on a field trip this past week. Before she went to the museum, I asked her what she was looking forward to, then I scribbed it for her. When we got home I asked her what she did. We also printed 2 pictures of her enjoying the museum. As soon as I did, I thought of your website. Thanks for the inspiration.

PS. One important thing I have learned this week is to glue the pieces of the notebook down right away! We lost a couple important pieces to a history project. BUMMER!

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