View our video tutorial for an overview of the features, content, and functionality of Timelines.

Tutorial Transcript

Welcome to World Book’s all new interactive Timelines feature. With Timelines, students and patrons have a new and engaging way to discover events spanning the arts, literature, notable people, science and technology, society and culture, sports, world history, and geography. This unique, and highly interactive, feature is now part of World Book Student, Advanced, Info Finder, Online Reference Center, Discover, and also Academic. Subscribers will find the new Timelines icon on their World Book Online homepage. Timelines is optimized for iPads and the most popular Android device and it automatically detects the type of device you're using to view your timelines and it will display it correctly every time.

The Timelines homepage has a rotating featured timeline that World Book editors have selected, often tying into current events. When you first open up Timelines, you'll see a stunning image highlighting the featured timeline, which you can just click on directly to go to that timeline. For example, this month, one of the featured timelines is “India: 2500 BC to AD 1600’s,” so if you clicked on that image, it would take you straight to the India timeline.

There are three main ways that users can interact withTimelines. You can browse one of the 425 pre-built timelines to study a particular topic or important figure, or from the homepage you can use the search bar to find a World Book timeline using keywords, or you can choose from one of the categories on the left-hand column, which drill down into more specific subcategories until you find the timeline that you want.

So I am especially interested in the Civil Rights era in US history, and I'm doing a project on Dr. Martin Luther King. So I am going to go into world history, where all of our strictly historical timelines are, and I'm going to search for “US history.” There happens to be a timeline on the African-American civil rights movement since 1954, so I'll click on that to show you what a timeline looks like.

From here you can adjust the level on the zoom slider to see a smaller or larger scope of time, or you can also use these directional arrows at the bottom to move forward or backward in time. Up at the top right here, you can switch the view to display your timeline in a linear list, which is printable. You can also choose to hide media if you'd rather not print all the images. I'm going to go back to the timeline view.

Something that’s great to know about Timelines is that it’s integrated with World Book’s My Research accounts, so you can save any of these timelines to your various research projects along with articles, maps, videos, and images found on World Book Online.

Next, you can also customize or edit a timeline for your own research, which is a really neat way to use this product so I’ll walk through how to do that. If you want to learn more about an event on the timeline, just click or tap anywhere on the event to open up the event info window. This will display a short description of the events, notes, and any associated media (sometimes even a video). What's really great are all of the customization options, which are available if you click “Edit.” So from the edit screen, I'm able to edit the synopsis that appears on the timeline or add a note here. So I might say “pivotal legislation in the Civil Rights Movement” as a note to myself to help me with my research project. You can color code the event to help you organize your research, or just flag it because you think it's cool. I might flag all my all my legal related events in red, for example. I'm also going to bold the words “Voting Rights Act” so that shows up more prominently on my timeline. You can even add an image to this event by clicking “Add Media.” From here you can upload an image from your own computer, or you can search World Book Online’s database for one of our images. So I'm going to search “Lyndon,” click search, and it returns these image and video results. Here looks like a good profile picture of Lyndon Baines Johnson, so I’m going to choose to add that to my timeline, click “Add” and then click “Save.” So now you see how you can personalize your timelines however you wish.

Just a note here, you can click or tap on the World Book Timelines logo at the top left of any page to be taken to the timelines homepage, where you can access “My Timelines” or create a timeline.

The third way that you can use this feature is to create your very own timeline. We've heard of so many fun ways that people are using this, both in and out of the classroom. From the homepage, you would just click “Create a Timeline” and you can create your own unique events to document just about anything you want. Add your own images, customize the look of your timeline by color-coding your events, changing the background, and adding special notes (anything to make this timeline really yours). And you can always edit it later.

Here's a timeline that I built to show off a vacation that I took at the end of last summer out to Oregon and Washington. The shaded triangle on the background indicates where an event spans over a period of time and then the black lines show when an event just took one day. You’ve got all the customization options that you had on the World Book pre-built timelines that I showed you before (here). Something I didn't show you is that you can change the picture that shows up on your actual timeline. So I'm going to select a different image from my boat trip, save as default, and then click save. Now that's the picture that shows up on my timeline.

Something else that I chose to do here was to bring in historical events to put my own vacation into context. So I found on World Book Online- the Oregon treaty set the boundary between British Columbia and the United States, for example, or Oregon becomes the 33rd US state. These are things that I added to my timeline just to make it more fun, and again, to put it in context. There are over 12,000 events and thousands of maps and photos on World Book Online to choose from that you can add to your timelines. The great news is that once you save it to My Research, you can share your timeline with your friends and classmates. This feature is perfect for the classroom for things like mapping out the narrative of a novel or doing a biography of your favorite historical figure, but it's also a great tool to use just for fun to make personal timelines, like the one I made to show off photos from my vacation. Users can build a timeline for any purpose, from research projects to family and fun. We designed this feature to be used by students in library patrons of all ages and we think visual learners will find it especially useful. As with all World Book products this feature is continually improving. We're going to be adding more timelines and it will just keep getting better.

Thank you for watching our video. We really hope you enjoyed it. Please follow us on social media to stay connected with World Book.

For more information, or to schedule a demonstration of Timelines, contact your representative or email us at

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