[ Issue 13 ]

History delights Emily Bronto

Bikwil celebrates History


In Issue 13's Web Line column Tony Rogers covers some History Web sites in various parts of the world.

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Web Line — Tony Rogers

For a technology originally designed for the rapid dissemination of current material, the Internet is nevertheless remarkably helpful for those unhurriedly probing for information on more ancient topics of interest. This issue we look at some Web sites devoted to the study of history. As always, the handful mentioned here represent just the tiniest fraction of what is available.

We start with England, in particular the England of the 5th to 9th centuries. Someone called Melanie runs the Eclecticity site, a sub-page of which is Anglo-Saxon England. Apart from a brief overview of the period (with maps), she provides several dozen link sites on related topics for you to explore, together with a bibliography.

While this site has not been updated for some time, it would make a useful jumping-off point for those interested in the subject.

Moving a little further afield, we come to a site run by the History Department of Hanover College, Indiana. It goes by the title of Texts and Documents: Europe. I have had occasion to mention Project Gutenberg more than once in this column, and this site is in the same vein, with numerous documents ready for your study. The texts are divided into four main periods: Ancient (to 500 AD), Medieval (500-1500), Early Modern (1500-1789) and Modern (1798 to the present). Each period has a number of subtopics, with Early Modern, for instance, so far containing:

The Italian Renaissance
The Protestant Reformation
The Catholic Reformation
Economic Theory
The Scientific Revolution
The Enlightenment

For those who prefer to search by subject discipline, each era has general links such as literature, philosophy, theology, politics and science, plus dozens of further Web sites to conect to.

While on the subject of historical texts, why not explore the Dead Sea Scrolls? A well put together site based on an exhibit at the United States Library of Congress will help you do just that — Scrolls from the Dead Sea: The Ancient Library of Qumran and Modern Scholarship.

There are five main sections:

Introduction — The World of the Scrolls
The Qumran Library
The Qumran Community
Today — 2,000 Years Later

In addition there is an Outline of Objects and Topics.

A very good site, with plenty of pictures.

Another American site is that prepared by the Cowles History Group and entitled The History Net: Where History Lives on the Web. This is almost exclusively about U.S. history, though there is a sub-page on world history. By the looks of it, it is regularly updated, so that the items will be different each time you visit. Last time I dropped in, This Week’s Features were

Lincoln and the Chicken Bone
Coney Island: The Nickel Empire
The Great Dinosaur Feud
America’s First Beach Resort
Reckoning at Gettysburg
Top 200 Traditional American Craftsmen
Japan’s Ace of Aces
Collecting Cobalt Decorated Stoneware.

In addition to the weekly articles, there are unchanging regular features, or Archives as they call them, which include

Civil War
Personality Profiles
World War II
Eyewitness Accounts
Historic Travel
Homes and Heritage,

and so on.

A site with a difference is History Buff’s Audio Library. The purpose here is to provide you with audio recordings of famous people and events. Again, all are American. Included are recordings in RealAudio format of the following sorts of things:

P.T. Barnum giving the world’s first recorded commercial plug (1890)
A 1912 speech by Theodore Roosevelt
A speech by Bruno Richard Hauptmann after his conviction for the Lindbergh Baby Kidnapping (1935)
A 1935 speech by Amelia Earhart
That famous on-the-spot report of the Hindenberg Disaster (7 May, 1937)
J.F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Speech (1960)
Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” Speech (28 August, 1963)
The shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald, by a reporter on the scene (25 November, 1963)
The “one small step” communication from the moon (20 July, 1969).

If you don’t have the RealAudio Player, you can download a copy for free from the site.

“What about local history?” I hear you ask. Ok, then.

The School of History and Politics at James Cook University and the Department of History at Melbourne University have jointly developed the site called The Electronic Journal of Australian and New Zealand History.

The editors of the Journal have a special interest in providing a peer evaluated forum for appraisal of new technologies in research and teaching. It is concerned with how interactive multi-media be most effectively used to represent the past in all its richness and complexity . . . EJANZH exploits the possibilities of new communication technologies, but aims to do so in ways which complement the activities of established paper- based historical journals.

Categories included are

Book and CD Rom reviews
Historical documents
Teaching resources

A useful list of other academic history sites around the world (mainly Australian) is also provided. New work is continually being added, and there is a keyword search engine provided for all material in the Journal.

A small but growing site, with a scholarly emphasis.

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