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Author: Scott A. Merriman
Title: Site Reviews
Publication info: Ann Arbor, MI: MPublishing, University of Michigan Library
April 1999

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Source: Site Reviews
Scott A. Merriman

vol. 2, no. 1, April 1999
Article Type: Site Review
PDF: Download full PDF [22kb ]

Site Reviews

Scott A. Merriman

World History: Hyperhistory

This site is an interesting attempt to portray history on a chart. It is available on-line, but also is for sale. The site portrays what was going on all around the world at certain dates and in selected eras. It is a valiant attempt to demonstrate the variety of things going on in the world and it tries to show how events in different countries impact one another. However, this chart has little explanation of how these interactions occurred, or of why these particular events were chosen. In the end, it merely reinforces the image of history as "one damn thing after another." An interesting attempt, but ultimately a failure.

History Matters: The U.S. Survey Course on the Web

This site is designed to help high school and college teachers improve their survey courses. It mixes discussions, primary documents and Web resources. The site includes a monthly quiz with prizes. This site is sponsored by the Kellogg Foundation and is a product of George Mason University and the City University of New York. Most of the material currently covers the late 19th and early 20th century, but more will be added, as this site is constantly expanding. Essays are included from top teachers around the country, including the 1998 Teacher of the Year. Examples of other resources include student work on the web, interactive essays, and a "digital blackboard," which demonstrates "teaching assignments which use existing Web resources." A great aid for survey teachers.

Woman Suffrage and the 19th Amendment: Primary Sources, Activities, and Links to Related Web Sites for Educators and Students.

This is an exhibit from the National Archives concerning the 19th Amendment. It is aimed at educators and students at a variety of levels, and is eminently usable on either the high school or college survey level. Suggested activities for students are included, as well as a list of related web sites. This site can be used at many different levels and for many different purposes. A good site to investigate for those interested in teaching this subject.

George Washington Papers

This is the Library of Congress' on-line collection of part of George Washington's papers. Currently some 50,000 images are on-line, and 147,000 images will eventually be on-line. The current collection focuses on the Revolutionary War and early Republic period, along with financial documents from 1750 to 1799. One can search the collection or browse. A GREAT resource for those researching or teaching colonial history.

Grant's Memoirs

This is an on-line version of Grant's Memoirs. The Memoirs mostly concern Grant's pre-Presidency activities, generally ending in 1865. This version is not searchable, but still an interesting resource for those interested in this period.

A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation

This is an effort to put on-line all of the acts of Congress from 1774 to 1873. Currently records are on-line from 1774 to 1805. The site also includes a "learning page" to help teachers use this material and integrate it into the classroom. Information about copyright, citation, and other matters is included. The site is searchable, and also is organized by source. This effort also currently includes a presentation on the impeachment of Andrew Johnson. Links to other resources are also included.

The American Historical Association

The American Historical Association (AHA) web site contains a number of interesting and important resources. Their on-line publications include Perspectives Online, which has everything the paper version does except for the job listings, and will have additional features which will not be in the print version in the future. (The job listings are available, but only to AHA members). Monthly updates of what is new on the web site are also included. Many links are included, such as ones to sites related to recent articles in the American Historical Review (AHR) and to a searchable index for the AHR. Information is also on-line about the AHA's annual meeting. There also is a panelfinder for ones interested in finding participants for a panel for future AHA conferences. A worthwhile site.

Whole Cloth: Discovering Science and Technology Through American Textile History

This site is a joint effort of the Society for the History of Technology, the NSF and The Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention. It presents and combines the work of social science teachers, professional historians and vocational education teachers. The site has a number of interdisciplinary goals including the recruitment of women into the sciences and expanding the audience for the history of technology. The site currently contains three teaching units, titled "early Industrialization," "True Colors," and "Synthetic Fibers." Both teacher and student essays are included and the teacher essay includes teaching tips and directions on how to utilize the unit.

The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson

This site examines the impeachment of Andrew Johnson, who, as we have been told ad naseum, is the only president (before Clinton) to be impeached. It is based on the articles and cartoons of Johnson which appeared in Harper's Weekly. Over 200 editorials, articles, cartoons and illustrations are included. The site also presents suggestions for additional reading. The site presents biographies of the important figures. It also contains background on the issues and summarizes the arguments for impeachment. The site does go beyond Harper's Weekly in that it presents information which Harper's did not. A good site for a background to both that day and the present.

National Archives and Records Administration - Presidential Libraries

This is a very useful site for all doing research concerning 20th century presidents of the United States. All presidents from Hoover to Bush have presidential libraries, and this site contains addresses, phone, fax, and email information, and links to specific sites for each library. It should be noted that the Nixon library is privately run and so is not part of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), but there is information here about the materials of President Nixon which NARA does handle. There also is a very informative overview of the Presidential Libraries system, which explains the background of the system and answers basic questions.

Virginia Historical Society

The Virginia Historical Society is now on-line. It has an on-line searchable catalog and the full record for the publications is also available on-line. A photograph index is also provided. The Society describes their publications, which include the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, and their educational services. Hours, directions, and various other miscellaneous information is also on-line. A worthwhile resource for all interested in Virginia history.

Hollywood Films

This site discusses the portrayal of history in movies and shows what the historical facts really are. The current film featured is "Braveheart," which has a number of historical inaccuracies. Another film displayed is "Titanic." A somewhat interesting site worth visiting for those who wish to see how popular culture treats some of the historical record. This site does not have ads on it, but does have a large number of banners which pop up while viewing the site.