The Library Is an Internet Resource

Judith M. Nagata, September 2003

This letter is in response to the forum, "The Internet and the History Classroom," that appeared in the May 2003 issue of Perspectives.

To the Editor:

I read the special section of Perspectives, "The Internet and the History Classroom" (May, 2003) with interest. The strengths and weaknesses of the resources on the Internet present opportunities and challenges for anyone teaching history. However, one of the best Internet resources, the academic or public library, is conspicuously missing from these articles. Libraries, especially in academia, have evaluated and provided access to Internet resources since the beginning (for example, gopher and Veronica). Academic libraries provide lists of web sites and full-text and full-image primary sources in history from their web portals or in their online catalog. Local libraries sometimes provide images of locally scanned resources. Choice and Library Journal provide professional reviews of Internet resources. Also, many academic libraries provide a document or web page that helps students evaluate web pages (or Internet) resources. WebSearch by Eddie Byrne provides a printable checklist at http://www.clubi.ie/webserch/resources/index.htm I strongly recommend that readers contact their local or academic libraries for additional help and suggestions in selecting, organizing and providing access to Internet history resources.

—Judith M. Nagata
Amherst College Library