Monticello Creates Dynamic Website to Promote Digital Learning of History

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - February 12, 2014
Media Contact: Amy Atticks, 434-984-7529

MONTICELLO, Charlottesville, VA—This Presidents’ Day, Monticello will launch SeaofLiberty.org — a new interactive website inspired by Thomas Jefferson and created by talented teachers from around the world.

From the Magna Carta to the Arab Spring, quests for liberty, freedom, and self-governance have recurred throughout international history.  In the words of Thomas Jefferson, “The boisterous sea of liberty indeed is never without a wave…”, and the foundational ideals of the Declaration of Independence are a unique touchstone for contemporary debates.

This educational tool-kit will enable educators and students everywhere to explore hundreds of unique, primary source materials related to the ideas of liberty, freedom, and self-governance. It will also provide secondary sources to assist educators, and a platform for creating and publishing digital projects.

The SeaofLiberty.org’s digital collections of documents, letters, artwork, and photographs draw from Thomas Jefferson and the Boisterous Sea of Liberty, a permanent exhibition on view in the Michelle Smith Gallery at the Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center.  Teachers from around the world contributed to the website during the second annual Talented Teacher Forum at Monticello. They consulted with scholars from Monticello’s Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies.

As Gary Sandling, Vice President of Visitor Services and Programs at Monticello explained, the site has now “…grown to include additional documents and images that represent the story of liberty in today's world. It is a living resource…"

Sea of Liberty.org was created in partnership with the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. Generous support for this project was provided by The Coca-Cola Foundation.

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The Thomas Jefferson Foundation owns and operates Monticello, the mountaintop home of Thomas Jefferson. As a private, nonprofit organization, the Foundation receives no regular federal or state budget support for its twofold mission of preservation and education.  About 450,000 people visit Monticello each year. For information, visit www.monticello.org.

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