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2. Finding History Resources on the Internet
with Subject Directories
Following is a sampling of subject directories on the Internet. Subject directories are lists or indices of selected on-line history materials. Several include reviews and ratings. Most are subdivided into various topics. Some directories link to individual documents, others to other directories. For each of the subject directories below, I have provided an example of a site. Spend some time with these lists. Browse through them and check out some links and documents of interest. Subject directories can be particularly helpful if you have not yet decided on a topic for your research project. You may find interesting sources about a person, event, or movement.
If possible, take the time to browse through each directory before going on to the next. Also, you may find it useful to print out some of the directories. Suggestion: "Bookmark" those sites of particular interest to make it easier to locate them later.
Commercial Subject Directories
- A2Z - Arts & Humanities: History. Select The Americas. Then select United States. Then select Archives and Indices. Scroll down to American Memory: Historical Collections for the National Digital Library. This site has collections of primary sources and archival material from the Library of Congress relating to American culture and history. An example is African-American Pamphlets from the Daniel A. P. Murray Collection, 1880-1920. It includes a selected bibliography.
- Miningco.com: History. Select 18th Century. Then select Documents. Then select Letters and Papers. Then select Abigail and John Adams. The first letter, from Abigail to John, contains the famous phrase, "Remember the Ladies."
- Galaxy: History (Social Sciences). Has a good organizational scheme. Most of the items are older gopher files. Many links no longer work. The first item under "Academic Organizations" is Exploring Ancient World Cultures. Select Rome at the bottom of the page. This will lead to several sites, including The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius.
- Webcrawler. After selecting it, select Arts and Books, then Fields of Study, then History. Then select Military History and War. Then select Korean War Project. Included at this site are Recollections.
- Yahoo: Arts: Humanities: History. Select Browse by Subject. Then select The Spanish Armada. Then select Spanish Armada@ from the longer list. Then select English Mercurie, The--July 23, 1588. This is an early English newspaper account of Sir Francis Drake's confrontation with the Armada.
Subject Directories Produced/Provided by Non-profit Institutions (mainly universities)
- Horus' World Wide Web Links to History Resources. Developed by the Department of History, University of California, Riverside. More than 1,700 links. From the menu on the left, select "Histories of Specific Countries, Times and Places." From the menu on the right, select "Native-American." In that menu, select "Native American Documents Project-CSU San Marcos." This is a project of the California State University at San Marcos. While the focus is on some Native American tribes in the Far West, the site does include the text of the Dawes (or Allotment) Act of 1887 (which allotted land to individual Indians in exchange for renouncing their tribal land claims).
- American and British History Resources. This site, sponsored by Rutgers University, delivers somewhat more than it promises. Although its emphasis is on American and British materials, there is much material on ancient, medieval, and modern Europe in general. Types of sites include library catalogs, primary source documents, photographs, articles, bibliographies, maps, sound recordings, motion pictures, book reviews, history listservs, and history association sites. Under "Titles by Historic Periods," select 17th Century (1600's). Then select George Fox: Autobiography (Quakers).
- Index of Resources for Historians. This list, compiled by the Department of History, University of Kansas, has more than 1,700 connections to Web sites, many of them also directories. They are arranged alphabetically by subject and name. The term history is construed broadly. Select United States History. Then select (or scroll down to) National Period, 1800-1860. There you will find, among other things, The Adventures of Daniel Boone, written by Boone himself and published in 1784.
- Voice of the Shuttle: History Page. This frequently-updated site is divided into the following sections: General History Resources (further subdivided into many useful categories), Prehistory, Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America & Mexico, North America (subdivided into Canada, U.S.), Historiography, Economic History, Military History, etc. The U.S. section is further subdivided into the following sections: General U.S. History Resources, Pre-Colonial, Colonial (which includes materials to at least 1801), Antebellum, Civil War, 20th Century (to 1950), and 20th Century (after 1950). In the General U.S. History Resources section, select Douglass: Archives of American Public Address. This is a full-text archive of historical American oratory and related documents; organized by speaker, title, and movement or controversy. It is searchable. It was developed by the School of Speech, Northwestern University. For an example of one of the documents, select By Speaker. Then scroll down to Bryan, William Jennings, and you will find his "Cross of Gold" speech of July 9, 1886.
"Voice of the Shuttle: History Page" is just one of many lists in a larger project, Voice of the Shuttle Web Page for Humanities Research. On its home page are links to many other lists. Most contain materials useful to history researchers. For example, select Religious Studies. To see the text of the most famous sermon preached in the colonial era of American history, select the subtopic, Christian & Bible Studies, then Christian Classics Ethereal Library. Scroll down through the author index (non-fiction) to Jonathan Edwards. There you will find the sermon, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God." Select html to access it.
Carrie - A Full-text Electronic Library. This is an excellent site, although it includes more titles of books outside the history field than in it. Also, it seems difficult to navigate. Select Stacks, then Martyrdom to Morgan. Scroll down to Maury, Matthew Fontaine, Papers. This is a partial collection of the papers of the famous U.S. and Confederate naval officer.
- The Historical Text Archive, a site produced by Mississippi State University. It contains both documents placed on-line by Mississippi State and links to other sites. For a good example of the latter, select Europe, then EuroDocs: Primary Historical Documents from Western Europe. This is an excellent site with many documents in English relating to medieval and modern Europe. For an example, select France, then The French Revolution, and finally, The Civil Constitution of the Clergy, 1790.
- The On-line Books Page. Sponsored by Carnegie Mellon University. Contains over 5,000 on-line books. Can be accessed by author or title, but the lists are very long and contain mainly non-historical material. I suggest that you click on Subjects. It is subdivided by Library of Congress classifications. While most of the history entries are under D History: General, and Regions Outside the Americas and E History: United States (General), history researchers may also find useful materials under Philosophy, Religion (several subjects), Social Sciences, Political Science, Law, Education, Language and Literature, Science (several subjects), and Military and Naval Science. For an example of a famous treatise by Edmund Burke, select D History: General, and Regions Outside the Americas and then scroll down to "France, Andorra, Monaco." Then select Reflections on the Revolution in France.
The "On-line Books Page" is the easiest way to access the electronic texts of "Project Gutenberg," an effort to place 10,000 books on-line by the year 2001. The project has a direct access, but its finding methodology is complex and confusing. For an example of a "Project Gutenberg" document accessed through "The On-line Book Page," select Subjects, then F History: United States (Regional) and the Americas. Then select Life and Adventures of Calamity Jane by Herself. As with all documents in "Project Gutenberg," there are between fifteen and twenty screens to scroll through before reaching the actual document.
- The English Server: History and Historiography. This is one of several humanities subject directories developed by the Department of English, Carnegie Mellon University. Unfortunately, the titles one finds on its list are sometimes ambiguous. For example, one is titled simply, "Finding a Wife." Only by selecting it can one learn that its actual title is "The Great Marriage Hunt: Finding a Wife in Fifteenth-Century England." It is a paper, originally presented by Sharon Michalove (University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana) at a history conference.
- The History Computerization Project: Directory of Historical Resources. A project of the Regional History Center of the University of Southern California and the Los Angeles City Historical Society. Scroll down to find the section titled, "Tennessee Technological University," and its subheading, "History Internet Resources." Select History Sites by Subjects. Then select Southern History. Then select U.S. Historical Documents Archive. Scroll down to the "Documents" section. Select List of Documents. Among them is the Mayflower Compact.
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For additional information/evaluation concerning using subject directories for research on the Internet, read "Searching the Internet, Part II: Subject Catalogs, Annotated Directories, and Subject Guides." by Jack Solock, a librarian with the InterNIC project at the University of Wisconsin.
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