As always, historians have covered a range of topics in the blogosphere in the past week. We link to historians discussing general education requirements, the OAH convention, and even April Fools Day. Also, many historians are up in arms over the possible closing or relocation of the Library of Congress’s European Reading Room. On the lighter side, have you been watching John Adams on HBO? Separate fact from fiction with an article from Jeremy Stern. Finally, read about the University of Florida’s digitization project, state education reform tables, Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.’s personal library, and more.
- The End of Western Civilization as We Know it
Mills Kelly at the edwired blog is in the midst of an interesting series (see March 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 28) asking whether general education requirements (such as the world civilization course) could be better delivered to students online and for free. But a separate study about the educational perils of leaving those courses to underpaid adjunct faculty points to the challenges of delivering these kinds of courses in increasingly corporatized colleges and universities.
- Reporter’s Notebook: Highlights from the 2008 OAH Convention
HNN’s Rick Shenkman reports on sessions and events at the 2008 OAH Convention, complete with video. Also see Stan Katz’s experience at the event.
- Scholars Question Library of Congress’s Plan to Relocate a Reading Room
It’s a hot topic in the blogosphere and history community—the Library of Congress’s plans to relocate (or even shut down) their European Reading Room. A blog has been created to fight this decision.
- What’s Inaccurate About the New HBO Series on John Adams
Enjoying the John Adams miniseries, but wondering about the historical veracity of a number of the events (he seems to be suspiciously on the scene at all major events)? Jeremy Stern’s "What’s Inaccurate About the New HBO Series on John Adams" offers a useful roundup.
- Almost 1.5 million!
Apparently the University of Florida is doing its own "Digital Library" project, and now has more than 1.5 million pages online.
- State Education Reforms
The National Center for Education Statistics has recently posted new tables to its State Education Reforms site. Table 1.11 on state high school exit exams shows that only six states appear to specify history among their exit exam requirements. Table 3.9 is also a recent addition to the site.
- Librarians and Book Dealers Dissect a Historian’s Treasured Book Collection
When Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.’s died last year he left behind family, friends, colleagues, and the 13,000 books in his personal collection.
- Ralph E. Luker: More Noted Things
Ralph Luker, of Cliopatria, always has something interesting to point to in his daily article roundups. For some fun, check out the last paragraph his April 1st edition for links to some Fool’s day related posts.
- NEH’s Office of Digital Humanities
Dan Cohen spills the beans on the new Office of Digital Humanities from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
- Librarians Duel Over the Future of Producing Bibliographic Records
The Chronicle’s Andrea Foster covers librarians’ objections to “a report issued in January that urges libraries to pursue more digitization projects and make greater use of the Web.”
- U.S. to Require States to Use a Single Dropout Formula
At a “dropout summit” on Tuesday, Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings announced that the federal government will require states to use a single formula for assessing high school graduation and dropout rates. The New York Times reports that the adoption of a federal graduation formula “corrects one of the most glaring weaknesses of the federal No Child Left Behind law” which allowed states to set their own rules for how to calculate graduation and dropout rates, leading to states under-reporting the number of students who left school.
Contributors: Elisabeth Grant, David Darlington, and Robert Townsend