Here are the ten reviews for March 1999 as models. If there are minor discrepancies between the format here and the reviewer guidelines, we will try to work them out in the near future.
Name: Women & Social Movements in the United States, 1830-1930
Resource Type: Teaching Resource, Archive
Brief Description: This site offers a rich collection of primary
documents and supporting material related to women and social movements
in the U.S.
Review: Developed for use in U.S. History and Women's History courses,
these eight "editorial projects" each include a collection of 15-20
primary documents along with a short essay introducing the topic. A
productive series of research questions challenges students with a
dynamic view of historical movements as they intersect issues of gender,
class, and race. Project questions like "How was the Relationship
between Workers and Allies Shaped by the Perceived Threat of Socialism
in the New York City Shirtwaist Strike, 1909-1910?" thrust students into
the middle of a set of complex issues, drawing upon newspaper articles,
personal letters, and other archival resources, to explore the
relationship among strikers, the strike's wealthy women supporters, and
socialist activists. Each project includes photos, full bibliographic
citations, and additional relevant links. Other project questions
include, "How Did African-American Women Define Their Citizenship at the
Chicago World's Fair in 1893?" and "How Did the Views of Booker T.
Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois toward Woman Suffrage Change between 1900
The excellent teaching resource is well-organized with easily
navigable links. Each project has a short introduction with
contextual background and links to the various documents, and
each document also has a brief introduction offering relevant
points of analysis. An internal search engine allows students to
find particular figures or issues.
Suggestion for Use: This accessible teaching resource offers students a
unique opportunity to understand historical research as an interpretive
process, as well as engage the particulars of women's history.
Reviewed by Susana Gallardo
Religious Studies, Stanford University
Name: The American Museum of Photography
Resource Type: Online Museum (archive and exhibit)
Brief Description: An online museum and archive of photographs,
primarily from the invention of the medium in 1839 until WWI.
Review: The highly awarded American Museum of Photography has over
5,000 images in its holdings, the personal collection of museum director
William B. Becker. A noted photography historian and broadcast
journalist, Becker brought the Museum online in the spring of 1996.
Exhibits have included "Of Bricks and Light: Architectural Photographs
1845-1915," "At Ease: The Informal Pose in American Daguerreotype
Photographs," and the current "An Eye for the World," photographs taken
by Japanese merchant Shotaro Shimomura during a 1934-35 global tour. The
site also contains a helpful collection of links on photographic history
and preservation and an online library.
Becker and his staff have done an admirable job with the American Museum
of Photography. The site's exhibits are a useful, informative overview
of the first century of the art form. Its comprehensive set of links
made the museum a mini-portal for information related to the study of
photographic techniques and processes. The Museum's are available for
reproduction, making the site a quality resource for teaching tools and
to enhance scholarly presentations.
Addendum: Since the majority of this site is online photographic
images, it pays to have a fast modem and browser. The site astutely
offers technical recommendations for optimal viewing yet its layout
takes a bit of getting used to.
Suggestion for Use: The American Museum of Photography is an excellent
introduction to the aesthetic of early photography and can act as a
supplement to lessons or papers on the photography of this period.
Reviewed by Kevin Smokler
University of Texas
Name: Madela Publishing Company
Resource Type: Exhibit
Brief Description: Online store for ordering the photographic collage,
"Emancipation," with some historical texts that illuminate the
challenges of the black experience in America.
Review: This is a lean, no-nonsense presentation of a product with a
few interesting readings from the history of the black experience. The
product is a print of a photographic collage titled, "Emancipation,"
which is jammed with images of black achievers in America. Along with
the print comes a 44-page booklet with biographical keys to each figure
represented in the collage. A few provocative historical texts are
posted here, including the notorious advice of William Lynch, the
Emancipation Proclamation, and a quote from Frederick Douglass. The
print is reproduced with very good quality, although the first loading
is a little slow. The sparse presentation of this site provides an
effective shock treatment against sentimental temptations to ignore the
more vicious qualities of white history. Says William Lynch: "Don't
forget you must pitch the old Black male vs. the young Black male, and
the young Black male against the old Black male. You must use the dark
skin slaves vs. the light skin slaves and the light skin slaves vs. the
dark skin slaves." The result, he promises, will be more effective than
the Roman use of crucifixion, when it comes to preventing slaves from
organizing for freedom.
Suggestion for Use: Teachers might direct students to this site for a
quick introduction to black history in the United States.
Reviewed by Greg Moses
Philosophy and Religious Studies, Marist College
Name: The Material History of American Religion Project
Resource Type: Organization, Virtual Community
Brief Description: Academic research project homepage including
description of programs, participants, an electronic journal and
newsletter with many etexts and images, short bibliography, and links.
The Material History of American Religion project is a Lilly Endowment-
funded academic research group at Columbia Theological. Their web page
is designed to introduce the discipline as well as provide access to
current work in the field. In addition to a description of programs,
participants, a selected bibliography of about 30 current works and
links to a dozen on-line resources for the study of American religion,
the electronic journal, newsletter, and archive allow browsers to
download about 70 articles and images. Electronic texts include a
definition and discussion of the discipline of material history;
historical documents and scholarly monographs on such topics as prayer
handkerchiefs and ministerial dress, food and games in church social
events, church finances; and reports on such objects as "Bible gum"
(both sugarless and in verse), "doughnuts for doughboys" (WWI), and a
photo of prayer before the barbecue at the 1941 Pie Town Fair. A brief
survey suggests interests ranging from the antiquarian to the social and
philosophical and a healthy balance of scholarship and fun.
Suggestion for Use: This site would give a fine introduction to those
new to the field as well as a handy resource for those curious to keep
up with recent work.
Reviewed by Bruce Spear
University of Potsdam
Name: Ramsey County Historical Society Page
Resource Type: Organization, Exhibit
Brief Description: The website for the officially recognized historical
agency of Ramsey County, Minnesota (near St. Paul), a very nice local
website that uses interesting images and text to provide an introduction
to a pioneer family's lifestyle.
Review: The main feature of the Ramsey County Historical Society
provides an easily navigable web presence for the Gibbs Farm Museum, a
local historical site that interprets an important period in Minnesota's
history. The site includes a basic historical synopsis with photographs
that detail how from the 1830s to 1862, Native American Dakota and the
new American settlers co-existed in this area. Jane DeBow Gibbs, the
original nineteenth-century owner of the farm, was an intermediary
between Dakota peoples and American settlers. The youngest visitors to
the RCHS site will enjoy the pictures and discussion of the Gibbs Farm
animals. The secondary emphasis of the site includes an image of a
cyanotype taken by engineer Henry Bosse of the Army Corps of Engineers
between 1883 and 1891. Although included as a "teaser" for a local
exhibit, this page provides students with interpretative text that might
pique their interest about the Army Corps' influence on the track of
Suggestions for use: A great supplement to elementary and secondary
American history curricula.
Addendum: Because of the many color images on this site, users with a
slow net connection may experiences some frustrations.
Reviewed by Kristin Mapel-Bloomberg
Name: The Religious Freedom Page
Resource Type: Archive
Brief Description: This site provides links to a wide variety of
materials relating to religious freedom around the world but with
special attention to the United States.
Review: The Religious Freedom Page is a useful starting point for
persons interested in exploring ideas and practices of religious
freedom. It offers links to a variety of documents arranged topically.
These linked materials are of various quality and utility and therefore
must be approached critically. Among the most useful materials are U.
S. Court decisions which are well organized and include recent
decisions. The statements included among universal principles are
interesting and important. A page of nation profiles provides links to
appropriately organized information on the status of religious freedom
in most nations of the world.
The greatest weakness of this site is its lack of clear focus. The
mission statement is still under construction, and the materials made
available range from documents and scholarly analyses to advocacy by
special interest groups. The page of "sacred scriptures" provides links
to everything from the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the
Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom to popular diatribes by
Thomas Paine and Robert Ingersoll. A page of religious freedom
organizations includes everything from the most respected religious and
civil rights organizations to the Rutherford Institute, a right-wing
political organization best known today for its support of Paula Jones
in her suit against the President.
Suggestion for Use: Faculty teaching courses in American religious
history or constitutional law will find materials on this site useful
for instruction and classroom discussion.
Reviewed by Samuel C. Pearson
Professor Emeritus of Historical Studies
Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
Name: Religious Broadcasting Home Page
Resource Type: Directory, Archive
Brief Description: The site serves as a gateway to resources on
religious broadcasting, especially those produced by the broadcasters
Review: In the 1980s University of Virginia sociologist Jeffrey Hadden
helped put broadcast evangelists on the academic radar scope. In Prime
Time Preachers (1982) and Televangelism: Power and Politics (1988)
Hadden analyzed the origin and role of televangelism exactly as it
became an important player in the religion and politics of mainstream
culture. His Religious Broadcasters Home Page aims at continuing that
analysis through the medium of the World Wide Web.
This site contains a substantial list of televangelists, each linked to
the evangelists’ own web site. It also seeks to be a collection of
objective analyses about religious broadcasters, by including an archive
of writings and bibliographies on the topic. Partly through time and
partly through copyright restriction, most of the material currently on
the site was written by Hadden himself; the heart of this section is the
complete texts of both of his books, now out of print.
The site is simply but handsomely designed, easy to navigate and fairly
quick to download. It shows all the signs, however, of being a work in
progress. There are several pages where the designer has filled a page
yet to be completed with ten lines of "text here." When the site visitor
tries to access the profile of one of the featured evangelists, each of
the links results in "Error 404—Page Not Found." The site has promise
but substantial gaps.
Suggestions for Use: The text of Hadden’s books and the links to
televangelists make the site worth a visit to an observer of the
American religious scene.
Reviewed by Daniel Sack
Material History of American Religion Project
Name: Documenting the American South: North American Slave Narratives,
Beginning to 1920
URL: http://metalab.unc.edu/docsouth/neh/neh.html (part of the
UNC-Chapel Hill Library System web site)
Resource Type: Archive
Brief Description: This site currently contains the texts of 24 North
American slave narratives by 22 authors.
Review: This archive catalogs the full texts of personal narratives by
slaves and ex-slaves, all written before 1920. The archive contains
many works that are less well-known, which is particularly useful to
scholars and students. Frederick Douglass and Olaudah Equiano are
conspicuously absent, but Harriet Jacobs, Moses Grandy, and William
Wells Brown are included. The site makes available many works that are
out of print, and since extant copies are rare and fragile, previously
unstudied works can now reach a wider audience. Each text includes
original illustrations, including covers and title pages, and some texts
are accompanied by additional background material on the author. The
site also provides a helpful essay placing slave narratives within the
context of American history and literature. This site is part of a
larger project that will make available in digital form the texts
of over 200 slave narratives.
Suggestion for Use: Particularly useful to scholars and researchers,
the site should appeal to students at the graduate and undergraduate
level, and perhaps to a general population interested in the topic.
Reviewed by L. Tamara Kendig
West Virginia Wesleyan College
Name: Baseball Cards: 1887-1914
URL: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/bbhtml/bbhome.html (a component of The
Library of Congress's American Memory Site, Historical Collections for
the National Digital Library, housing 43 collections with over 1,000,000
Resource Type: Exhibit, Archive
Brief Description: This site is an archival collection of 2100 baseball
cards produced between 1887-1914 that has been digitized for viewing
over the Internet.
Review: This site for enthusiasts offers a rare look at a variety of
classic baseball cards. The cards, collected by Benjamin K. Edwards and
ultimately donated to the National Archives, are in excellent viewing
condition and have been impeccably digitized to reveal their original
qualities. The archived cards are conveniently listed by player, team,
league, city, and card set. They are also searchable by keyword, using a
Cards of this time, produced mainly by tobacco companies, were sometimes
lithographs and sketches, sometimes photographs, and often included
statistical information on their backs. A card selected for viewing is
shown in a color thumbnail mode, with both sides displayed
simultaneously. Viewers may double click on a thumbnail to enlarge the
image. The viewer also has an option to view and download most cards in
JPEG or TIFF format, for larger reference or higher quality than the GIF
format in which the card is initially displayed.
Other information included with the photographs of the cards include:
other titles by which the card is known, the date of
creation/publication, the issuer, other subjects that categorize the
card, related names associated with the card, the medium on which the
card was produced, the collection it resides in, its call number, and
the repository to which it belongs.
In addition to the cards, this easily navigable site contributes some
information on the history of the Edwards collection, cataloguing and
digitizing information (including a useful bibliography on cataloguing),
and a general (very short) baseball card bibliography. Information is
also provided on ordering reproductions.
Suggestions for Use: Interested users may include card collectors,
baseball historians, and those generally interested in baseball, art,
Addendum: The TIFF Files took quite some time to download at 44000 BPS.
Reviewed by John R. Woznicki
English Department, Fairmont State College (WV)
Name: The Library of Virginia Digital Collections
URL: http://image.vtls.com (part of the homepage for the Library of
Virginia found at http://leo.vsla.edu/lva/lva.html)
Resource Type: Archive
Brief Decription: The Library of Virginia Digital Collections site
includes materials and links to electronic sites that would be of
interest to scholars, genealogical researchers, and students alike.
Review: Although not nearly as effective as visiting the Library of
Virginia in person, the Library of Virginia Digital Collections website
offers a wealth of resources of interest to anyone intrigued by Virginia
history. Well organized and visually effective, this site contains a
brief overview of the available resources at the top of the page, as
well as a link at the bottom to the Library of Virginia homepage. Not
only can one find links to the Electronic Card Indexes, but the site
provides instructions on how to order copies of materials, as well as
contact information for the library staff.
The researcher can connect to a variety of information, including the
Library catalogs, Virginia History and Culture catalog, personal papers,
court records, land records, photograph collections, newspaper
collections, and online archival and manuscript collections. It is
possible to use either the links at the top of the front page, or scroll
down the page to click on the specific category of interest. For
example, under the "Personal Papers" category, the Library of Virginia
collection includes papers of prominent families, such as the
Anderson-Latham or the Bryan Family papers. The links to each
collection in this category include a description of the collection,
broken down into five groups, ranging from "correspondence" (Group I) to
"miscellaneous" (Group V).
Other areas of interest include links to the "Newspapers in Virginia"
database, which can be searched using either combination or word/ phrase
search mechanisms, or the Archives and Manuscripts Catalog, which can
also be searched online to find detailed listings of the Library's
holdings. These easily navigable links make the Library of Virginia
Digital collections website perfect for researchers and anyone
interested in Virginia history.
Suggestion for Use: This site is an outstanding reference for anyone
interested in Virginia history, including both scholars and independent
Reviewed by Jennifer Harrison
Graduate Student in History