Wednesday, May 18, 2011

New Database: American Antiquarian Society (AAS) Historical Periodicals Collection

Illustration showing the Boston Massacre from Freeholder's Magazine, or, Monthly Chronicle of Liberty, May 1770.

The American Antiquarian Society (AAS) is one of the most important archives of the American past--anywhere. They are "an independent research library founded in 1812 in Worcester, Massachusetts. The library's collections document the life of America's people from the colonial era through the Civil War and Reconstruction."

In an Annual Report a few years back, the Society noted that "through partnerships with leading publishing companies, the Society has embarked on an ambitious multi-year initiative to provide digital access to collections. Digitization is indeed transformational, as it allows one to “read” through millions of pages in search of particular words or phrases with just a few keystrokes and then to “see” the pages rendered on the computer screen in remarkable fidelity. Search and retrieval is further aided by the incorporation of excellent cataloging metadata and tools to browse collections quickly and to save or print selections for sharing, teaching, or future reference."

One of the AAS partners is Ebsco. And we have purchased the first two modules of a tremendous archive of historical periodical materials called the American Antiquarian Society (AAS) Historical Periodicals Collection. This collection includes digitized images of American magazines and journals never before available outside the walls of the AAS, and these resources are not currently available in digital from from any other source.

AAS president Ellen Dunlap has commented that “existing indexes of historical periodicals are often somewhat ‘sketchy’ and usually only cover the ‘mainstream’ periodical titles, [but EBSCO's] full-text digitization [reveals] vast storehouses of information which have been completely hidden from researchers in the past, and that’s very exciting.”

The first module is AAS Historical Periodicals Collection: 1691-1820, which presents 550 titles dating from 1693 through 1820. Series 2 presents over 1000 titles dating from 1821 through 1837. Subjects covered include everything from Arts to Industry to Government to Religion to Science....and of course these serials vividly provide contemporary accounts of the Colonial Period, the Revolutionary War and the Early Republic. There will be five series in all, closing out in 1877. We hope to be able to afford the other modules later.

Searching is fairly straight-forward. And although you sometimes have to re-orient or re-size the images, everything I looked at was remarkably clear, considering the age of the material.

We hope that you will enjoy delving into this amazing archive, with or without a specific assignment or research project.

[Find AAS Historical Periodicals Collection in the Online Catalog, our A-Z database list, or in our Subject Database Lists for the Social Sciences or Literature, Arts and Humanities.]

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

RefWorks 2.0

When signing on to RefWorks, there is now an option to select RefWorks 2.0. This is a new interface which will replace the current interface sometime this year, most likely this fall. The current interface, “Classic,” will continue to be available through the summer and possibly through the remainder of the year. Suffolk University students, faculty, and staff may currently switch to the new interface or use the “Classic” version.

Refworks 2.0 is more user-friendly and intuitive. The access screen now looks like this.

A Right Navigational Menu allows the user additional easy access to key features, plus the ability to access important resources such as tutorials and user-aids and release notices.

Icons located beside each citation offer easy and fast viewing and editing of each entry.

Try the new platform. For additional information, see the RefWorks 2.0 Fundamentals Tutorial.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Notable E-Book: Female Action Heroes

We recently added dozens of online volumes to our ABC-CLIO eBooks Collection database. I am featuring Female Action Heroes: A Guide to Women in Comics, Video Games, Film, and Television not because it is the most serious and scholarly of the books we added, but specifically because it is not. (Heck, it's the end of the semester and the regular academic year, so why no choose a book that celebrates popular culture and a sense of fun?)

Although the book features an introduction and timeline, the majority of its content consists of analytical profiles of a wide variety of pop cult hardboiled or heroic women. Characters covered include TV icons like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charlie's Angels and the divine Emma Peel; cinema tough gals like Ellen Ripley and Sarah Connor; and comic book heroes like Wonder Woman and Storm.

To see a descriptive sheet from the publisher, look here.

And for those who prefer slightly more academic-sounding reading, rest assured that we added a great many books in a great many topics of scholarly interest.

History-related titles include The Black Experience in the Civil War South, The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, The History of Bulgaria, and An Oral and Documentary History of the Darfur Genocide. Also included in the mix are Government and Public Policy titles like Campaign Craft: The Strategies, Tactics, and Art of Political Campaign Management and Arms Control and Global Security: A Document Guide.

But there is a little bit of everything from ABC-CLIO's various imprints, which also include titles published by Greenwood and Praeger. The new adds include everything from The American Criminal Justice System: How it Works, How it Doesn't, and How to Fix It to Voices of Shakespeare's England: Contemporary Accounts of Elizabethan Daily Life to Clothing through American History: The Civil War through the Gilded Age, 1861-1899 to Evolution, Creationism, and Intelligent Design to Energy Transitions: History, Requirements, Prospects to The New Handshake: Sales Meets Social Media .

All of our eBooks should be in the online catalog. (You can do an Advanced Search and specify the Material Type of EBOOKS) just to search for keywords--or title, author or subject terms--in records for our electronic monographs. Or you can explore just the ABC-CLIO database, by going to our proxyized link to it. And you can always explore the very latest NEW eBooks by looking at our feed.