To start off this week, we revisit two topics we’ve previously addressed on the blog: Google Books and the Wilderness Battlefield’s fight with Wal-mart. Then, read the latest National Humanities Alliance newsletter, join a discussion at H-Disability, and hear a conversation between James McPherson and Craig Symonds. We bring you three posts focused on photos or video: a new site on Florence Kahn, a collection of dissection photographs, and images of from Japan in the 1860s to the 1930s. Finally, we conclude with some May-themed posts: “MayDay,” a garden-themed roundup, and a history of Mother’s Day.
By: Debbie Ann Doyle, Elisabeth Grant, Arnita A. Jones, Jessica Pritchard, and Robert B. Townsend
The digital archive called “Paper of Record”—a significant repository of old newspapers from around the world—disappeared in late January, leaving many historians without a critical tool for their research.
Article By: Robert B. Townsend
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.
Article By: Debbie Ann Doyle, Elisabeth Grant, Jessica Pritchard, Robert B. Townsend, and Sharon K. Tune
Yesterday the Official Google Blog announced the launch of Google’s newspaper digitization project, a new initiative meant to digitize millions of newspapers and make them available online. While Google’s newspaper digitization project is definitely newsworthy, there are already similar resources available online. Read on to revisit some online newspaper sites AHA Today has covered in the past.
Last week’s “What We’re Reading” included numerous articles on the Gutenberg-e project going open access. This week, we begin with one more perspective on the issue, from Jim Jordan at Columbia University Press. Next, we include articles on two persistent topics covered by AHA Today: Google Books and Wikipedia. Then read about a new newsletter from the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP), an article on historians and the public, an interesting George W. Bush Library design project, and finally, reports of a new collection at the National Gallery of Art.
Last week’s “What We’re Reading” noted the presence of the Library of Congress’s holdings on Flickr. This week, the ArchivesNext blog shows what else can be found at the photo sharing site, and in another post announces their first annual “Archives on the Web awards.” Read on to find articles on plagiarism, overproducing PhDs, and professional issues (including travel woes and peer review). Finally, read one historian’s cautionary tale of Google search results.
Google search, love it or hate it, has become ubiquitous. And now, according to a post Monday on the Official Google blog, searching may be evolving. Google is experimenting with “alternate views for search results,” including timeline, map, and information views...
The Google Books
project promises to open up a vast amount of older literature, but a closer look at the material on the site raises real worries about how well it can fulfill that promise and what its real objectives might be.
Over the past three months I spent a fair amount of time on the site as part of a research project on the early history of the profession, and from a researcher’s point of view I have to say the results were deeply disconcerting. Yes, the site offers up a number of hard-to-find works from the early 20th century with instant access to the text. And yes, for some books it offers a useful keyword search function for finding a reference that might not be in the index. But my experience suggests the project is falling far short of its central promise of exposing the literature of the world, and is instead piling mistake upon mistake with little evidence of basic quality control. The problems I encountered fit into three broad categories—the quality of the scans is decidedly mixed, the information about the books (the “metadata” in info-speak) is often erroneous, and the public domain is curiously restricted.