AwesomeStories is a gathering place of primary-source information. Its purpose – since the site was first launched in 1999 – is to help educators and individuals find original sources, located at national archives, libraries, universities, museums, historical societies and government-created web sites.
Sources held in archives, which document so much important first-hand information, are often not searchable by popular search engines. One needs to search within those institutional sites directly, using specific search phrases not readily discernible to non-scholars. The experience can be frustrating, resulting in researchers leaving key sites without finding needed information.
AwesomeStories is about primary sources. The stories exist as a way to place original materials in context and to hold those links together in an interesting, cohesive way (thereby encouraging people to look at them). It is a totally different kind of web site in that its purpose is to place primary sources at the forefront – not the opinions of a writer. Its objective is to take the site’s users to places where those primary sources are located.
The author of each story is listed on the preface page of the story. A link to the author provides more detailed information.
This educational, curriculum-support teaching/learning tool is also designed to support state and national standards. Each story on the site links to online primary-source materials which are positioned in context to enhance reading comprehension, understanding and enjoyment.