In honor of the annual meeting, still a few months away, we start this What We’re Reading off with a look at Google’s new transit map project and an article from the New York Times on how New Yorkers can still help tourists find their way. Then, learn what it takes to start a museum, check out the history of African Americans in Congress, discover how the Internet turns historical errors into facts, read about conservatives funding history programs, plan a trip to Union Station to celebrate its centennial, and hear about a new lawsuit against Zotero. Finally, see two WWII related articles: a new exhibition of postal memorabilia that document the Holocaust and a look into the deterioration of Hitler’s health.
- If Tourists Know Subway Routes, Teach Them Tricks
With the AHA annual meeting in New York this coming January, it’s exciting to hear about Google’s new transit map project. Now when getting directions through Google you can choose the “by public transit” option to get directions that use walking, bus, and metro instructions. But the New York Times asks, with this new service, “what is left for New Yorkers to lord over people who live someplace else?”
- Starting a Museum: What is essential and what is not?
Joann Lindstrom considers what elements make a new museum successful in the fall issue of Cross Ties, the newsletter of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for the Humanities.
- Black Americans in Congress
This newly launched historical web site details the plight of African Americans to attain full civil rights in the Federal legislature from 1870-2007. Resources include historical essays, Congressional members’ profiles, artifacts, historical data, and educational resources.
- Power, error and a “cruel historian”
The Internet’s ability to turn errors into historical facts seems to be a subject of growing interest. The typically enthusiastic Kevin Smith warns that the Internet is "an environment that requires a new level of awareness and attention" in "Power, error and a ‘cruel historian.’” Meanwhile, Mills Kelly, in a recent post at edwired, talks about a course at George Mason University that comes with a class assignment to generate an Internet hoax, which seems likely to only add to the problem.
- Conservatives Try New Tack on Campuses
The New York Times reports on conservative donors funding institutes for the study of history.
- Union Station celebrates 100 years
AP writer Sarah Karush takes a look at the history of Union Station, which is celebrating its centennial with exhibits and events this weekend.
- Maker of EndNote Citation Software Sues George Mason U.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that software maker Thomson Reuters has filed suit against George Mason University’s Center for History and New Media’s Zotera software. While we haven’t seen a posted response from CHNM, the blogger Disruptive Library Technology Jester questions Thomson Reuters’ claims.
- Stamp Collector’s Holocaust Memorial
The New York Times checks out “a collection of postal memorabilia” that document the Holocaust. The collection will be put on display at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center next year.
- The Madman at the Breakfast Table
A further look into the deterioration of Hitler’s health (with perhaps a bit too much detail) and the doctor responsible for many of the dictator’s drug addictions.
Contributors: Debbie Ann Doyle, Elisabeth Grant, Jessica Pritchard, Robert B. Townsend, and Sharon K. Tune