Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Webinar: Explore primary sources related to commerce and capitalism

The Library subscribes to many digital primary source databases provided by Adam Matthew Digital. The company is offering a free webinar on Wednesday, May 13, that will "provide researchers of consumer culture, trade and commerce, business, advertising, marketing and human geography with a detailed overview of ":

 Empire Online
 China, America and the Pacific
 American Consumer Culture
 Global Commodities

 The webinar will be offered at two times: 7am and 12pm.


Primary Sources: Records Relating to the Slave Trade at the Liverpool Record Office

This British Online Archives collection includes private merchants' papers preserved at the Liverpool Record Office relating to the transatlantic slave trade. During the eighteenth century when these documents were compiled, Liverpool was the leading slave trade port in the world. "The material includes correspondence with ship captains and Caribbean agents about the acquisition of Africans and their sales; statistics on the Liverpool slave trade; sales accounts of the lots of Africans disembarked in the Americas, often with the names of purchasers and prices; information on dealings with diverse African groups along the coast of West Africa; and details of payments for slave sales. The account books of ships' voyages includ material on the outfitting of vessels and the cargoes of goods exported to Africa."

 The vast majority of these documents are handwritten and have not been transcribed. The metadata describing the documents can be searched, but not the documents themselves. Only individual pages can be downloaded and/or printed.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Trial: 60 Minutes: 1997-2004 and Human Rights Studies Online

Through May we have access to two online resources, 60 Minutes: 1997-2014 and Human Rights Studies Online.

Human Rights Studies Online is a "research and learning database providing in one place comprehensive, comparative documentation, analysis, and interpretation of major human rights violations and atrocity crimes worldwide. The collection is growing to include 75,000 pages of text and 150 hours of video that give voice to the countless victims of human rights crimes in the 20th and early 21st centuries.

"The collection takes a case study approach, providing primary and secondary materials across multiple media formats and content types for each selected event, including Armenia, the Holocaust, Cambodia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Rwanda, Darfur, and more than 30 additional subjects. Resources for each topic guide users through the full scope of the event, from the historical context that made such violations possible through the international response, prosecution of perpetrators, and steps toward rebuilding."

More information about the database
Search tips

60 Minutes: 1997-2014 provides access to nearly two decades of the television program through streaming video. "This resource also includes 175 hours of bonus segments from the popular CBS News program Sunday Morning, whose timely news pieces, cultural features, and newsmaker profiles form an ideal complement to 60 MINUTES content."

More information about the database

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Primary Sources: Farm Security Administration - Office of War Information Photograph Collection

"The photographs in the Farm Security Administration - Office of War Information Photograph Collection form an extensive pictorial record of American life between 1935 and 1944. This U.S. government photography project was headed for most of its existence by Roy E. Stryker, who guided the effort in a succession of government agencies: the Resettlement Administration (1935-1937), the Farm Security Administration (1937-1942), and the Office of War Information (1942-1944). The collection also includes photographs acquired from other governmental and non-governmental sources, including the News Bureau at the Offices of Emergency Management (OEM), various branches of the military, and industrial corporations."

These photographs were originally intended to document the need for agricultural assistance and to record how the FSA addressed that need. However, the scope of the collection far exceeded these parameters and the collection encompasses pictures that depict everyday life of Americans, the effects of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, the migration West or to industrial cities of displaced people, and America's mobilization for World War II. Represented in the collection are works of well-known photographers of the period, including Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, Jack Delano, and Esther Bubley.

The images from Black & White negatives have been digitized and can be viewed at the Library of Congress site. A different page provides access to the approximately 1600 color photographs.

Not all of the images were printed, but even so the number of printed images became difficult to manage. The archivist Paul Vanderbilt was hired to arrange them and, recognizing that researchers would approach the collection with different needs, he devised two organizational schemes. He first organized sets of prints into "stories," generally consisting of images with the same subject matter or from a specific geographic region. These were called LOTs (examples of which can be found in Documenting America: Photographers on Assignment.) The LOTs were microfilmed by the Library of Congress.

The LOTs were then dismantled and the collection was reorganized geographically, and then according to subject classification numbers. The images online can be browsed through a subject index.

This organization scheme is also reflected in the microfiche collection of the printed photographs, called America 1935-1946: the photographs of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Farm Security Administration, and the U.S. Office of War InformationThe Library's copy of this collection is housed in the Newspapers & Microforms Library, located in 40 Doe Library.

Since the unprinted photographs did not have this organizational scheme applied to them, they are not as easily accessible through the online catalog search. After conducting a search, go to the description for any FSA/OWI image and select the "Browse neighboring items by call number" link. The Library of Congress continues its efforts to add metadata to these records so they will increasingly be easier to locate.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Primary Sources: The American Influenza Epidemic of 1918-1919: A Digital Encyclopedia

The American Influenza Epidemic of 1918-1919: A Digital Encyclopedia started as a collaboration between the University of Michigan's Center for the History of Medicine and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The purpose was to study the non-pharmaceutical interventions in American cities during the 1918-1919 influenza epidemic to determine what lessons could be learned from that experience.

After the initial results of the investigation were published, the researchers continued to build on their work. Using primary source materials gathered from libraries and archives across the country, they developed narrative essays on fifty cities, "exploring the story of influenza’s arrival in each community and the havoc it caused, [and] documenting the civic response, the political and economic ramifications, and, in every community, the heroism and courageousness of doctors, nurses, and countless volunteers who gave their all to fighting the epidemic." In addition, they solicited articles from historians of public health and experts on virology on aspects of the epidemic. The anthology of essays, articles, and primary sources are co-located in this extensive online resource.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Primary Sources: First Hand: Civil War Era Drawings from the Becker Collection

First Hand: Civil War Era Drawings from the Becker Collection "displays for the first time more than one hundred thirty-five drawings by Joseph Becker and thirteen of his colleagues, who, during the nineteenth century, served as artist-reporters for Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper. These Special Artists drew and sent back for publication images of the Civil War, construction of the railroads and transatlantic cable, Chinese in the West, Indian wars, Great Chicago Fire, and other American milestones." [source]

 The catalog of the exhibition can be found in the Main (Gardner) Stacks.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Library Prize -- the deadline is tomorrow afternoon

Just a reminder that the deadline for submissions for this year's Charlene Conrad Liebau Library Prize for Undergraduate Research is 5 pm tomorrow afternoon (4/16).

Up to six awards are given out to lower-division and upper-division undergraduates for research projects that show evidence of:
  • Significant inquiry using the library, its resources, and collections
  • Learning about the research and information-gathering process itself.
Prizes are:

$750 lower-division
$1,000 upper-division

The winners are recognized at a reception that will take place on Wednesday, May 6, from 4:00-6:00 in the Morrison Library. All are welcome to this event. 

More information and the application procedure can be found on the Library's website