Teachers' Notes

This interactive history timeline allows students and teachers to explore British Library collection items chronologically from medieval times to the present day. A diverse selection of historical texts are displayed through a fun and engaging timeline interface, making Timelines a fantastic resource for learning about culture, politics, technology and everyday life through the ages.

Teachers' notes

This set of resources includes support notes and teaching ideas to accompany the interactive. You'll find numerous tools to help students develop independent historical enquiry and creative thinking skills.

Download teachers' notes

About Timelines: sources from history

From medieval times to the present day, view sources that allow us glimpses of everyday life, such as handbills, posters, letters and diaries; those that help us better understand political events, such as charters, speeches and campaign leaflets; or enjoy the writings of some of our best known historical and literary figures.

Highlights of the timeline include:

  • Manuscripts by great figures in history, including Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, Mozart, Wordsworth, William Blake, Jane Austen, Florence Nightingale and Dickens
  • Original records of major events in history, from the Black Death and the Great Fire to the French Revolution and the abolition of the slave trade
  • The first Western printed book, the first English cookery manuscript, the first English language Bible and the first postage stamp
  • Posters, advertisements and illustrations documenting everything from public executions and magic shows to plague cures and freak shows

Use thematic timelines, such as ‘everyday life’ and ‘politics, power and rebellion’ and 'literature, music and entertainment', to make fascinating comparisons, both within time periods and across time. Save or print individual timeline items or add them to your own timeline of favourites.

Launch Timelines: sources from history