We start off this week with matters of the history profession, linking to a question from Dan Cohen about scholarly society meetings, a report from The Wall Street Journal on how satisfied history majors are with their careers, and an article from The Chronicle about the risks of citing digital sources. Read also about the ongoing legal effort to unseal Nixon’s grand jury testimony and hear what the American History Guys say about the history of the U.S./Mexico border. Next we look to news and articles on some online resources.
Fans of historic maps may be interested in the Crace Collection of Maps of London brought to us by the British Library. This collection includes over 1,200 maps and plans of the British capital, an “essential guide through the history of London.” The maps roughly cover the years 1570 through 1860.
The collection was compiled in the first half of the 19th century by Frederick Crace, an interior designer to Britain’s rich and powerful. Crace was appointed to Commissioner of Sewers in 1818, and took up an interest in the history of the streets of London, an interest which continued until his death.
Historical maps can not only offer a fascinating glimpse into the past, but also be beautiful works of art. We’ve highlighted a number of maps on AHA Today in the past and today we revisit those posts and also link to new map resources.
David Rumsey Map Collection Online
The David Rumsey Map Collection displays over 22,000 maps and images online. Find maps from a wide variety of themes, like:19th Century Maps by Children, Cassini Terrestrial and Celestial Globes 1790-92, Japanese Historic Maps Online Library and more.
Along the lines of Perspectives on History’s May 2009 theme issue of history and digital technology, historians may be interested in the web site Henry Hudson 400. This site celebrates the 400th anniversary of explorer Henry Hudson’s 1609 voyage to the Americas in search of a water passage to the Pacific Ocean.
Borrowing from the National Archives of the Netherlands, Henry Hudson 400 has taken a selection of rare maps and documents, and in collaboration with Google, overlaid them onto contemporary Google maps of the same areas.
The big news this week is the resignation of Allen Weinstein from his position as Archivist of the United States. The deputy archivist will step up until President-elect Obama nominates a replacement in January. Speaking of the president-elect, we point to an MSNBC article featuring historians discussing the historic nature of the recent election. Then read articles on ranking journals, the fight against plagiarism, conference advice, and a fun look at “original meanings of the world’s place names.”
- Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein Resigns
Allen Weinstein, Archivist of the United States, has put in his resignation due to health reasons, effective December 19, 2008.
A number of news items start us off in this edition of What We’re Reading. First up, the National History Center and the Teagle Foundation have released a new report on “The Role of the History Major in Liberal Education.” Then the Office for Human Research Protections appoints a new head, the Park Service opens the Tuskegee Airman National Historic Site, and OHA launches a new web site. We also link to articles on “How Muslims Made Europe,” a profile of an assistant professor, wikipedia and “truth,” and a new mapping project.
Almost two years ago we reported the addition of David Rumsey Historical Maps to the Google Earth application. But did you know that 120 Rumsey Historical Maps have also been integrated into Google Maps? This mashup has the same features as the Google Earth/Rumsey Map combination (like the ability to adjust the transparency of the map overlay) but without the need to download other software.
For example, here is the Asia 1787 map:
Or, check out Oahu, Hawai’i in 1899:
Or, on a smaller scale (i.e.
The Internet has transformed (like so many other things) the way we see and use maps. Google Maps has become ubiquitous, not only providing simple routes to destinations, but also showing satellite views, terrain representations, and more. But whether it’s the use of a new map, or the reinterpretation of an old one, it’s the interactive nature of these online maps that is so fascinating (and fun).
AHA Today has featured a number of interactive maps in the past. Just a month ago we mentioned the Map of Early Modern London, which allows users to explore locations and events in London during the 16th and 17th century.