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December 2003 Web News
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Favorite Web Sites: History

The web sites featured this month have been critically evaluated and selected by the IU Northwest librarians as well as a group of academic and public librarians across the United States who compile a yearly Best Free Reference Web Sites List  for the American Library Association. Here is a list of selection criteria  initially created by the MARS Best Free Websites Committee to choose these sites. The Library hopes our readers will find these web sites useful for locating reliable, accurate and authoritative information on the Internet. American Memory is an ongoing resource of digital images, audio and media clips embracing all aspects of American history and culture. This extensive collection provides access to over 7 million digital reproductions of primary sources from over 100 important historical collections from the Library of Congress and other participating museums and institutions. In addition to the digital resources, the site includes The Learning Page, a teacher's guide to assist in instructional support and learning, and Today in History which gives a brief historical account of an important event in American history occurring on that day. This excellent, frequently updated site is highly recommended for librarians, researchers, teachers, and students seeking to incorporate digital images into their presentations and class assignments. (Summary used with permission of the MARS Best Free Websites Committee) This site's mission is to be a "portal created for students, history educators, and general history enthusiasts" and consists of annotated lists of recommended history sites that are divided by topic and rated by the site's creators for "usefulness and accuracy." Broad periods such as Prehistory, Medieval, and 20th Century history are listed and further subdivided into manageable topics and periods. Best of History Websites also identifies sites that are particularly useful for lesson plans, research and multimedia. Although coverage of the period between the Middle Ages and the modern/20th century is not particularly strong, overall this frequently updated site lives up to its name and its mission. (Summary used with permission of the MARS Best Free Websites Committee) "HyperHistory is an expanding scientific project presenting 3,000 years of world history with an interactive combination of synchronoptic [simultaneously presented and viewable] lifelines, timelines, and maps." The unique construction of the site allows history to be "viewed" rather than read, although the option of browsing and searching brief text biographies (1010 total) is available. The collection of timelines can be viewed by time period, event (including a new chronology of the 2001-02 terrorist attacks), and person; names on the timeline are color-coded to indicate area of primary influence (science, arts, religion, politics). There is also an extensive collection of event and time period-related maps. The site is complemented by linked text of a "comprehensive world history" that features bibliographies and web links for further research. A valuable site, especially for K-12 and undergraduate use. (Summary used with permission of the MARS Best Free Websites Committee) AMDOCS is part of the University of Kansas' digital library, CARRIE: A Full Text Electronic Library. It contains links to the full text of over 400 primary source documents relating to the study of American history which have been digitized by a variety of academic institutions. The documents, which cover the 15th century through the 21st century, are easily accessible from a straightforward chronological listing of the events that inspired them. Because these documents have been created by many different institutions as part of separate digital projects, users will find considerable variation in the type of accompanying materials available for each and should take particular note of any copyright or other use restrictions noted.  (Summary used with permission of the MARS Best Free Websites Committee)

IU Libraries Shift from Paper to Electronic Circulation Notices

In a move that speeds transmission and saves paper, the IU libraries will begin sending electronic overdue notices, recalls and  due-date reminders, and recall notices. As an IU student, faculty or staff member, you will begin receiving the notices via your IU Northwest e-mail account beginning November 24, 2003. This new service is another example of the advantages of having an IU Northwest e-mail account.

This service complements other online features that make it easier for you to manage library transactions. You may review a list of materials you have checked out and renew those items online. Go to IUCAT at ,click on the "My Account" button and log in using your network user name and password. Follow the instructions to see how to renew items or view what you have checked out.

If you use a non-IU e-mail address, please see instructions on how to forward your IU e-mail at:

For more information, please contact Audrea Davis, Head of Circulation/Reserve at or 219-980-6584.

ACM Portal Provides the Latest Computer and Technology Information Electronically

The Indiana University Libraries recently subscribed to ACM Portal, a database devoted to the newest developments in computer science and technology. Produced by the Association for Computing Machinery, this electronic resource features the following full-text collections.

The ACM Digital Library consists of a full-text collection of every article published by the Association including over 50 years of archives. The journal collection is keyword searchable and offers a table of contents service.

The Guide to Computing Literature is a bibliographic collection of computer science literature compiled from major computing publishers with over 750,000 entries. It also offers full-text access to computer software and hardware reviews.

To access ACM Portal, IU Northwest students, faculty and staff can go to the IU Northwest Library Electronic Information Page from campus or off campus computers via a VPN connection. At the Electronic Information Page screen, click the All Databases Listed Alphabetically link under the Electronic Resources heading. At the next screen, select ACM Portal.

, Library News Web Editor