March 10, 2011
National Archives and The Mini Page Celebrate New Digital Archive
Washington, DC…For more than two decades, education specialists at the National Archives have worked in collaboration with The Mini Page, the weekly newspaper feature, on dozens of issues of interest to young readers and their families. Now, thanks to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library, all of them are available online in The Mini Page Archive at [http://www.lib.unc.edu/dc/minipage/].
This online archives includes the complete Constitution and Bill of Rights Mini Page series, as well as issues about the Declaration of Independence, the Presidential Libraries, the presidents as children, select National Archives exhibits, significant historical events and anniversaries, and more. All of these issues, created with the National Archives staff, are among the nearly 2,000 issues that are included in the digital archive. The complete archive stretches from the inaugural publication on Aug. 29, 1969 through April 21, 2007. Visitors can browse the collection chronologically or by title or search for issues about specific people, places or topics.
The digitized versions came from hard-copy Mini Pages donated to the library in 2009 by Betty Debnam of Raleigh, NC, creator and first editor of the supplement. She also donated Mini Page activity books, greeting cards, teaching guides and related items, all held in the library’s Southern Historical Collection.
The Mini Page uses easy-to-understand text, images, games, puzzles and recipes to teach elementary readers about newsworthy topics in fields including government, science, history, holidays and world cultures. Debnam also originated a cast of memorable characters that still appear: Alpha Betty, Rookie Cookie, Mighty Funny, Peter Penguin, Mini Spy and others.
In 1972, MSC Features Inc. syndicated the feature, followed in 1977 by Universal Press Syndicate. In 2007, Debnam sold The Mini Page to Universal (now Universal Uclick, a division of Andrews McMeel Universal), which continues to publish it.
About Educational Programs at the National Archives
For more than three decades, the National Archives has provided educators with methods and materials for teaching with documents. Working in partnership with the Foundation for the National Archives and Second Story Interactive, the National Archives has launched a revolutionary new web site, www.DocsTeach.org. DocsTeach is the latest component in this program that advances the National Archives ability to meet its strategic goal of improving civic literacy. The National Archives is not just “providing” methods and materials anymore. Now, the agency is reflecting the philosophy of open government, encouraging educators to participate, create, and share.
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For Press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.