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

This work is protected by copyright and may be linked to without seeking permission. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. Please contact for more information.

Source: Site Reviews
Scott A. Merriman

vol. 2, no. 3, November 1999
Article Type: Site Review

Site Reviews

National Archives and Record Administration's Center for Electronic Records

This branch of the National Archives handles all records which were presented to the National Archives in an electronic format. These records date from the 1940s, even though electronic records only started to come into their own in the 1960s. This website is useful for anyone researching the history of computers, and for those researching the last sixty years in general. The center has a research room at Archives II in College Park, Maryland. There is a title list to help one begin searching, and to give a general idea of what records are available. That list is at: The National Archives does not generally make full-text records available on the Internet, but some Vietnam and Korean War state-level casualty lists are available. Details on those records are also available at this site.

Theodore Roosevelt: His Life and Times on Film

This site discusses the films about Theodore Roosevelt. In many ways Roosevelt was the first modern president, including being the first president to be repeatedly captured on the silver screen. There are over 100 films at this web site about Roosevelt. {William McKinley though was the first to be captured on film}. Most of the film clips are very short, and information is available at the site about what software is needed to view them. Some clips are quite large and thus require sizable download times. Information about the providence of each film, along with details on its production, what the film shows, and background on the cause of the filming is also available. The site can be searched by keyword and there is also a title list. Sound recordings are also included.

Historic Latta Plantation

This site is a good example of a living history organization's web presence. The site includes pictures of the plantation and period music. It also contains directions to the location, a map, and information about tours. This plantation is restored to be an early nineteenth century cotton plantation in North Carolina. Information is available at the site for teachers, including a Teachers Resource Guide geared towards third grade teachers, and for students, including the games that the children who lived on the plantation played. A good example of how living history can be integrated into the classroom and into education, and the role that a web site can play.

Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative (ECAI)

This site attempts to create GIS-style databases that can be used all over the world, which can be a bit intimidating for those not familiar with such work. This site is in the prototype stage, as the data is still being collected and organized. The aim is to create an "interactive electronic atlas of the world from which selected data from regions, eras, and disciplines can be instantaneously accessed." Another aspect of the project is to create a "TimeMap," to show how historical and geographical features change across time.

Mapping the National Parks

This is a collection of around 200 maps concerning the areas that became four national parks (Yellowstone, Acadia, Grand Canyon and Great Smoky Mountain National Parks). This site is indexed by subject, title or creator of the map. One can also browse by geographic location or search by keyword. The maps date from the seventeenth century to the present. The site includes many historical maps, and the goal of these is to demonstrate that "how and why each of these locations became a national park reflects the broader themes of American history." Related topics discussed at this site include conservation, land use, and the gradual creation of the national park system. Notes are included on the providence of the map and other information, as well as links to related sites.

Additions to the geography and map collection of the Library of Congress' American Memory collection.

Several very interesting additions have been made to the geography and map collection of the Library of Congress. These include the 1562 Map of America by Diego Gutierrez <>, which was one of the earliest attempts to draw the "New World," and it is interesting both for its geographical depiction of this hemisphere, and for the cultural assumptions it portrays about this hemisphere. For example, various images contained on the map, show cannibals, giants, and mermaids, just to name a few. The map "depicts the eastern coast of North America, all of Central and South America, and portions of the western coasts of Europe and Africa." Information is included about the mapmaker, the engraver, and about how the Library of Congress came to have this map in its collection (there are only two (2) copies existing, with the other one being in the British Library, London).

Another interesting addition is the 1570 Theatrum Orbis Terrarum map (Theater of the World) by Abraham Ortelius, (1527-1598). This map, which is at <> is generally considered to be the first true atlas. Many maps of individual countries are also included.

National Archives Teaching Resources - the Constitution Community

This is a variety of teaching activities which address constitutional issues. Time-wise the lessons range from "Images of the American Revolution" to "The Civil Rights Act (of 1964) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission." Topic-wise, the lessons range from the "Founding Documents of the Peace Corps" to "United States v. Thomas Cooper : A Violation of the (1798) Sedition Law." In addition, a wide variety of geographical areas and cultural groups, including the Mexican War, the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the South, the Civil War, African Americans, and Japanese relocation are all discussed. The aim of this site is to develop "lessons and activities that address constitutional issues, correlate to national academic standards, and encourage the analysis of primary source documents." Each lesson lists the relevant national standards that the lesson addresses. In the lessons, the relevant documents are provided, along with historical background, teaching activities, and links to related sites. A very good teaching resource.

West Point Atlas maps

This is an interesting set of atlases showing wars from the last three centuries. Besides providing battle maps, the site also provides maps of battle plans and maps of the conditions before the wars. Among the conflicts included are: colonial wars, the American Revolution, the Spanish American War, World War II, and the Vietnam War. Some unexpected coverage includes the Napoleonic Wars, Wars in Modern China, and Wars and Conflicts since 1958, which includes Beirut, Grenada and the Gulf War of 1990. The maps are spectacular, but are not self-explanatory. A good resource for anyone who wants to use battle maps in class.

Portland State University Greek Civilization Home Page

A set of pages designed mostly for middle-school and junior high students (ages 11-14). A wide variety of topics concerning ancient Greece are covered, including daily life, sports, the environment, politics, and science. The site is quite popular, sometimes having over 60,000 hits a month. Links are provided to related sites, and a brief description is provided for what is on each sub-page. Links are also provided to further discussions of themes elsewhere in the site. Some topics even allow students to test their own knowledge. A good page for middle-school students, even though the knowledge is too brief and superficial for high school and college students.

The Caversham Project

This site, more formally known as the "Space, Time, Gender, and the Urban Opportunity Structure," investigates urban social structure. One tool used by this project is a geographic information system (GIS), which aims to re-create the actual structure of Caversham in the period being discussed (1893-1938). A wide variety of data was used to create this database, including, but obviously not limited to, electoral rolls, death certificates, street directories, and valuation rolls. The site also contains a list of working papers (some of which will be available soon in .pdf form), theses, and related publications, as well as contact information and a photo gallery.

Microfilm Publications Database and Search form

While not a website like many of the above, this is still a site that nearly all researchers working in American History, and many studying other areas of history, will find useful. The website covers many of the National Archives and Record Administration's (NARA) microfilm publications and allows one to "search for microfilm publications descriptions via keywords, microfilm IDs, Record Group Number, and/or NARA Viewing Location." The site also discusses the on-line guides which are available as well as NARA's other on-line resources. A very useful resource for finding resources.