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
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 Protestant Reformation
The Catholic Reformation
The Scientific Revolution
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
Introduction — The World of the
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.
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
Japan’s Ace of Aces
Collecting Cobalt Decorated
In addition to
the weekly articles, there are unchanging regular features, or Archives
as they call them, which include
World War II
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
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
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.
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.
Book and CD Rom reviews
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.