Noteworthy World Wide Web Sites

This is not a comprehensive guide to history sites on the Internet, but merely our attempt to highlight some the history-related Web sites our staff and readers have found to be interesting, informative, or especially innovative. If you have a site you believe should be noted in future issues, please let us know—and tell us why you think it stands out from others.  

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Uncle Tom's Cabin & American Culture: A Multimedia Archive. A comprehensive archive of photos, movie clips, bibliographical and archival information on Uncle Tom's Cabin and its legacy. Directed by Stephen Railton at the University of Virginia.

Student Activism in the 1930s.. This Web site, part of the the New Deal Network, was edited and designed by Thomas Thurston and Robert Cohen, author of When the Old Left Was Young: Student Radicals and America's First Mass Student Movement, 1929-1941 (Oxford U. Press, 1993). The site examines in some detail the student movement of the 1930s, and includes contemporary essays written by student activists, along with cartoons and photographs from the time.

Documenting the American South. This is an extensive database of primary and secondary sources pertaining to the history of the American South from the 18th through the 20th centuries. It is part of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's efforts to digitize its regional history collections. It includes diaries, ex-slave narratives, autobiographies, travel accounts, memoirs, out-of-copyright monographs, organized into five sections: "First-Person Narratives of the American South, 1860-1920;" "North American Slave Narratives;" "Library of Southern Literature;" "The Church in the Southern Black Community, Beginnings to 1920;" and "The Southern Homefront, 1861-1865." Each section includes an essay from the Encyclopedia of Southern Culture. The site has an excellent search engine which provides access by author, keyword, and title.

History Matters: The U.S. Survey Course on the Web. As the home page of this wonderful Web project notes, History Matters was "designed for high school and college teachers of U.S. History courses. This site serves as a gateway to Web resources and offers useful materials for teaching U.S. history." It contains hundreds of Web site links, primary source documents, creative online assignments, syllabi, lesson plans, puzzles, and much, much more. It has recently been extensively updated.

Tangled Roots. This site, developed by the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition, "investigates the histories of enslaved Africans and immigrants from Ireland and the common legacy of African and Irish Americans." It presents over 150 primary documents from the 17th century to the present, including: legal documents, records of meetings, speeches, photographs, illustrations, census records, speeches, life narratives, and news articles.

Archive on the American Eugenics Movement. This incredible site, which includes more than 1200 Web pages, was produced by the DNA Learning Center, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories. It presents "the unfiltered story of American eugenics primarily through materials from the Eugenics Record Office at Cold Spring Harbor, which was the center of American eugenics research from 1910-1940." It is divided into ten sections: Social Origins, Scientific Origins, Research Methods, Traits Studied, Research Flaws, Eugenics Popularization, Marriage Laws, Sterilization Laws, Immigration Restriction, and Author Information and References.

People of Steel: The People and History of the Acklin Stamping Plant. Produced by Benjamin Grillot at the Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections, University of Toledo Library in April of 2000, this digital exhibit examines the labor and corporate history of the Acklin Stamping Plant in Toledo, Ohio. It was created utlizing the records of the Acklin Stamping Company, on deposit at the Canaday Center. This is a fine example of what more archives should be doing to promote the use and visibility of their collections.

Sipapu: The Anasazi Emergence to the Cyber World. Produced by John Kantner, an Assitant Professor at Georgia State Univesity, this Web site examines Southwestern U.S. prehistory. It includes a three dimensional model of a prehistoric "great kiva," a "subterranean architectural feature that served a ceremonial function in many Anasazi communities," and a Chaco Anasazi "great house," a "large above-ground masonry structure that likely served an important social and political function in the community in which it is found." Sipapu also includes timelines, an interactive map of important Anasazi sites found in the Southwest, an extensive database on Anasazi arhaeological sites, academic papers, and a comprehensive online bibliography.

Dime Novels and Penny Dreadfuls. This Web site presents the fruit of Stanford University Archive's project of digitizing some of its extensive "Dime Novel and Story Paper Collection." The collection consists of over 8,000 individual items, and includes long runs of the major dime novel series. "Guided Tours" offer browsers information on "Print Processes" "Dime Novel Covers" and a full introduction to Stanford's collection. You can also read the full text of nine selected novels by Burt L. Standish, Edward Wheeler, Colonel Prentiss Ingraham, and others.

Benedicte Wrensted: An Idaho Photographer in Focus. This Web photographic exhibit, produced by the Idaho Museum of Natural History, examines the life and work of a remarkable female photographer, Benedicte Wrensted (1859-1949). A professional photographer in Horsens, Denmark, Wrensted emigrated to the United States with her mother Johanne in July of 1894, and soon joined her brother Peter in Pocatello, Idaho, where he lived. She produced large numbers of photographs of Native Americans on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation, many of which are included in this on-line collection. Wrensted's work "lay in obscurity for decades until brought to light by the detective work of Smithsonian anthropologist Joanna Cohan Scherer. In 1984, while researching photographs for the Smithsonian's Handbook of North American Indians, Scherer found a collection of glass plate negatives at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Washington, DC." The site contains biographical essays, guides to "reading" photographs, bibliographic resources, and digital versions of Wrensted's photographs.  

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Noteworthy World Wide Web Sites 
Copyright © 2000, 2001 by The Journal for MultiMedia History


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