Monday, February 22, 2010

Afghanistan Digital Library

Afghanistan Digital Library
The goal of the Afghanistan Digital Library at New York University is "to retrieve and restore the first sixty years of Afghanistan's published cultural heritage." This period, from 1871 to 1930, is of great importance as the earliest publications from this time frame are very rare and decades of war have not helped the situation. A team of scholars working at the National Archives in Kabul and NYU has helped to digitize a number of these documents for inclusion in this digital library. The project is sponsored by NYU Libraries, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and The Reed Foundation. Currently, the archive contains over 380 books, and visitors can browse them at their leisure. There is a search feature, but as the transliteration part of the project is still in development, visitors might just want to look around at items they find compelling. The viewer application is quite user-friendly, and visitors can zoom in to examine various details of each work. >From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2010. http://scout.wisc.edu/

Friday, February 19, 2010

ActionBioscience: Issues in Biotechnology

ActionBioscience: Issues in Biotechnology
Created by the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS), the ActionBioscience website is designed to promote bioscience literacy through a host of educational activities, worksheets, interactive features, and online demonstrations and visualizations. This particular part of the site looks at issues in biotechnology through a range of articles and activities that can be used in classrooms or for personal edification. This section contains over two dozen of these activities, arranged into thematic sections including technology and ethics, cloning, and medical biotechnology. Each article contains a brief introduction, a set of related external links, and a set of references for future use. Some of the pieces that shouldn't be missed are "Agricultural Bioterrorism" by Radford G. Davis and "Designer Babies: Ethical Considerations" by Nicholas Agar. >From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2008. http://scout.wisc.edu/

Dying Speeches & Bloody Murders: Crime Broadsides

Dying Speeches & Bloody Murders: Crime Broadsides
"Dying speeches & Bloody Murders" might not sound like a site to visit right before bedtime, but this engaging and fascinating collection brings together an important set of crime broadsides that will engage the attention of historians, legal scholars, and anyone with an interest in the history of crime and punishment. This collection comes from the Harvard Law School Library, and the conservation and digitization of these broadsides was made possible by a generous grant from the Peck Stacpoole Foundation. These broadsides would have been sold in much the same way a program would be sold today at a major sporting event. Their price was usually quite low, and they usually featured a description of the crime in question and a variety of illustrations. Here visitors can view over 500 of these broadsides, and they can browse around at their leisure, or search by category or keyword. >From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2008. http://scout.wisc.edu/

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Congressional Hearings: Law Library of Congress

Congressional Hearings: Law Library of Congress [pdf]
Recently, the Law Library of Congress and Google teamed up on a collaborative pilot project to digitize the Law Library's entire collection of 75,000 volumes of printed Congressional Hearings. For those who might not be familiar with these hearings, they typically contain testimony from members of Congress, interest groups, and policy experts. The intent of this initial digitization project is to produce text-readable versions of these hearings and to make them available as quickly as possible. Currently, the site contains three thematic collections that cover hearings on the U.S. Census, freedom of information, and immigration. Visitors can browse through them at their leisure and even offer their own comments on the quality of the image and any general comments as well. >From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2008. http://scout.wisc.edu/

Friday, February 5, 2010

UNdata

UNdata [pdf]
The United Nations (UN) website contains a tremendous amount of data, and for some new users (and even those who are more experienced), it may be a bit overwhelming. Recently, the UN created this fine website designed to assist those who might need a bit of assistance with this whole process. On the UN Data site, visitors can simply type in their search terms, look over a list of popular searches, and even take a look at their "News" section, which offers up a selection of helpful recent additions. Further down on the homepage, visitors can look through the "Database Coverage" area. Here they can take advantage of some specially culled statistics, including data sets related to the World Health Organization (WHO), refugees, industrial commodities, and children. The site is rounded out by a "Glossary" section, which offers a nice summary of each term that might be encountered while utilizing the site. >From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2008. http://scout.wisc.edu/

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Asia Society: Islamic Calligraphy

Asia Society: Islamic Calligraphy [Macromedia Flash Player] [Deb]
This website from the Asia Society is actually two exhibitions in one: Traces of the Calligrapher and Writing the Word of God: Calligraphy and the Qur'an. The former focuses on the men and women who have practiced calligraphy, or beautiful writing, the most esteemed of the Islamic visual arts, while the latter provides a few samples of their craft. In the opening section, "Tools and Materials", visitors can view pens, brushes, and all manner of writing instruments, including containers in which they are stored. "The Training and Practice" section offers a glimpse at exercises used by calligraphers to hone their skills, such as an album of calligraphy exercises (m├╝rekkebat) from Turkey, 1896–97. Finally, the section "Writing the Word of God" displays leaves from the Qur'an, arranged chronologically - from a folio of a Qur'an in Hijazi script, mid-7th century to a selection of the Qur'an in muhaqqaq script, Iraq, probably Baghdad, ca. 1370. >From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2008. http://scout.wisc.edu/

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse [pdf]
This website, a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is an extremely useful tool for those interested in digestive diseases - patients and health care workers alike. The site is designed for those who have been diagnosed with digestive diseases, who have not yet been diagnosed, for those who want to participate in clinical trials, and for those seeking even more resources on digestive diseases. Additionally, this site is for the health care community seeking easy-to-read and Spanish-language publications on digestive diseases, and for U.S. statistics on digestive diseases. Visitors should go to the "Statistics" link on the homepage to view not only NIH's "Digestive Diseases Statistics for the U.S.", but also a link to "Other Sources for Statistics", which has a list of nine other organizations that have statistical information on digestive diseases. Check out the "Clinical Trials and Guidelines" link on the homepage to find patient studies regarding digestive diseases that are underway in Maryland, at the National Institutes of Health research hospital, as well as several other U.S. locations. >From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2008. http://scout.wisc.edu/

Exploring Genes & Genetic Disorders

Exploring Genes & Genetic Disorders [pdf]
More and more excellent data continues to be produced by the Human Genome Project, and a number of government organizations have created top-notch educational resources based on this information. The Gene Gateway website was originally produced as a companion to the Human Genome Landmarks poster and has evolved into a "collection of guides and tutorials designed to help students and other novice users get started with some of the resources that make these data available to the public." Here visitors are introduced to various Internet tools that anyone can use to investigate "genetic disorders, chromosomes, genome maps, genes, sequence data, genetic variants, and molecular structures." Visitors can download the Gene Gateway workbook, which contains five activities, complete with screenshots and step-by-step instructions "designed to introduce new users to genetic disorder and bioinformatics resources on the Web". Moving down the homepage, visitors can look into sections such as "Bioinformatics Tools", the "Genetic Disorder Guide", and an outstanding "Chromosome Viewer". The viewer provides a great backdrop for those seeking to understand the physical makeup of human chromosomes. Also, visitors can order a free copy of the wall poster "Human Genome Landmarks: Selected Genes, Traits, and Disorders" >From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2008. http://scout.wisc.edu/

Two on Anne Sexton

Two on Anne Sexton
During her life, Anne Sexton became well-known for her poetry, which was written in what may have called the "confessional" style. Her contemporaries included poet Robert Lowell, and before she took her own life in 1974 she managed to compose hundreds of exemplary poems. This first site about her life and times from the Poetry Foundation contains poems such as "All My Pretty Ones", "Crossing the Atlantic", and numerous others. Visitors to the site can also read an extended biographical essay about her life, check out a bibliography of related works, and also check out some suggestions for future reading. The second link is provided by the Modern American Poetry website and here visitors can read an essay about Sexton's career by Diana Hume George and also read a few critical interpretations on her work. >From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2008. http://scout.wisc.edu/

The Civil Rights Digital Library

The Civil Rights Digital Library 
Partner organizations including The New Georgia Encyclopedia, the Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services have joined forces to create the very impressive Civil Rights Digital Library (CRDL). The intent of the CRDL is to promote an "enhanced understanding of the Movement by helping users discover primary sources and other educational materials from libraries, archives, museums, public broadcasters, and others on a national scale." Visitors can browse through the materials by place, people, events, or topics, such as "Community Organizing", "White Resistance", "Economic Justice", and "Voting Rights". Also, visitors can browse the materials by contributing institutions or media type. There's some really terrific material here, including oral histories, archival footage, and still photographs. Overall, it is a site that will be invaluable to historians working in this area, and anyone with an interest in learning about the civil rights movement. >From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2008. http://scout.wisc.edu/

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Money Matters

Money Matters
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has a website loaded with information, including specific sections titled "Country Info", "News", and "Data and Statistics". Visitors might be especially interested in the current exhibit on the site entitled "The Importance of Global Cooperation". The exhibit is composed of six sections, each more than several pages in length. Some of the sections in this historical look at money include "Destruction & Reconstruction", "The System in Crisis", and "Debt & Transition". Each section focuses on a time period, such as 1871-1944, which is titled "Conflict & Cooperation". At the bottom of each page of the section, are links to the other subsections of that section. For example, in the "Conflict & Cooperation" section, some of the subsections are "The Golden Era", "Cost of the World War", and "The End of the War is in Sight". There is no need to go through each page of the section, since the subsections can guide the visitor to exactly what they want to read. In each section, there are a few well-placed photographs and political cartoons from the time period that accompany and help further illuminate the well-written text. >From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2010. http://scout.wisc.edu/

African-American Religion: A Documentary History Project

African-American Religion: A Documentary History Project
Headquartered at Amherst College, the African-American Religion: A Documentary History Project (AARDOC) was founded in 1987. The goal of the project is "to produce a comprehensive history of African-American religion." The history is scheduled to be published in a print edition by the University of Chicago Press later in 2010, and the authors of the project have created this site to bring a selection of these materials to the attention of educators and students. The "Advice for Beginners" section contains a brief description of external reference works of note, and then visitors can make their way through brief outlines of different phases in African-American religious history in areas like "Atlantic World" and "Global Phase". The "Sample Documents" area is a real treat, as it features primary documents that tell the story of Billy Sunday's interactions with African-Americans and the 1822-1823 journal of Betsey Stockton, who joined a company of missionaries as they set sail for the Sandwich (Hawaii) Islands. The site is rounded out by a selection of teaching resources, including syllabi for undergraduate and graduate courses. >From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2010. http://scout.wisc.edu/

HUD User

HUD User 
If you're interested in the state of housing, real estate markets, and other related matters, the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) User website will warrant a very close examination. Their coherent and easy-to-use homepage features basic links to their quarterly periodicals, data sets, and a tool designed to help users find research materials on over a dozen topics, including affordable housing and green design. In the "What's New" area, visitors can look through the most recent edition of "ResearchWorks" (their in house publication) and check out the latest data sets on housing starts, economic development programs, and so on. Perhaps the timeliest item here is the "Guide to Avoiding Foreclosure", which will be useful who wish to avoid additional mortgage problems. >From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2010. http://scout.wisc.edu/