August 12, 2010
In the news this week, historian Tony Judt has passed away at 62, and AHA member Richard Brown chairs the search for the new director of the Office of the Historian in the U.S. House of Representatives. Planning for the new school year? EDSITEment has put together collections of its most used content, and the ArchivesNext blog has picked winners for the Best Archives on the Web awards. Then we look behind the scenes with Dan Cohen on the One Week | One Tool project, learn the state of the e-book, and question Google’s count of all the books in the world. Also, read answers from historians, prepare for the job market, and learn about James Smithson. Finally, view some Department of Agriculture propaganda video, look at posters from East Germany and Boston, and learn about a medieval fortress being built in…Arkansas.
- Tony Judt, Chronicler of History, Is Dead at 62
The New York Times has posted an obituary for Tony Judt, professor of European history at New York University, who passed away from “complications of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.” See also the related article, “Arguing with Tony Judt,” by Scott McLemee, in which he reflects on Judt’s work.
- Choosing the House Historian
Richard Brown, AHA member and Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Connecticut, is the new chairman of the search committee to find the next director for the Office of the Historian in the U.S. House of Representatives.
- EDSITEment: Teachers’ Top Choices for New School Year
EDSITEment has put together its most frequently accessed content for August and September, in time for back to school planning. Check out their lesson plans and resources for U.S. History, World History and Culture, Art History: From Caves to Pompeii, Folktales, Fairytales, and Mythology, and Literature and Language.
- Winners: Most Innovative Archives on the Web
The ArchivesNext blog has put up a series of posts on the winners of their recent “Best Archives on the Web awards.” See their picks for the Most Innovative Archives on the Web, Best Use of Crowdsourcing for Description, and Best Re-Purposing of Descriptive Data.
- Thoughts on One Week | One Tool
Dan Cohen goes behind the scenes for “One Week | One Tool” and how it led to the new blog-to-book project Anthologize.
- The State of the E-Textbook
PC World offers a useful survey of the state of e-textbooks and some of the short-term impediments to their adoption.
- It’s the End of the Book As We Know It — and I Feel Fine
Kent Anderson at Scholarly Kitchen talks about why paper books may be on the way out while Richard McManus at ReadWriteWeb assesses what gives paper an edge among readers (for now).
- Google’s count of 130 million books is probably bunk
Jon Stokes makes a case for why Google’s final count of all the books in the world might not be so accurate.
- Ask a Historian
A number of essays by our own Robert B. Townsend have recently been added to the National History Education Clearinghouse’s “Ask a Historian” site: History and New Media, The History of History, and Historians Defined.
- Gearing Up for the Job Market
History Compass offers some suggestions for preparing for your job search.
- Who Was James Smithson?
This past Tuesday, August 10, 2010 the Smithsonian celebrated its 164th birthday. In celebration, Smithsonian Magazine takes a look at James Smithson, who bequeathed the Smithsonian to the United States.
Artifacts from the Past
- “Miracles From Agriculture (1960)” (excerpt).
Jonathan Rees at the More or Less Bunk blog has posted a clip from a Department of Agriculture propaganda piece that he’s using for his food history class. He recommends checking out the full 12 minute video as well.
- University Acquires Unique East German Poster Collection
George Mason University’s Libraries’ Special Collections and Archives recently acquired a unique collection of more than 7,500 posters and 3,400 photographs from the former German Democratic Republic (GDR), more commonly known as East Germany.
- AWAY WE GO! Vintage Travel Posters from the Collections of the Boston Public Library
Check out the Boston Public Library’s collection of vintage travel posters on Flickr.
- Power Styling: Futuristic Power Structure Concept Book
What we thought, in the past, power stations would look like in the future.
- Ozark Medieval Fortress
See a medieval fortress being built using medieval techniques of construction, in a surprising locale: Arkansas.
Contributors: David Darlington, Elisabeth Grant, Vernon Horn, and Rob B. Townsend