What We’re Reading: March 4, 2010 Edition
In the news this week, congratulations to Gordon S. Wood on winning the New-York Historical Society’s American History Book Prize. Also, read about a new Pew Internet and American Life Project on media use. Under the theme of history online, hear about the challenges of a history archive, the risk of losing digital materials, and two articles on Google Books (a German take and French one). We also bring you two articles on history months as well as the discovery of a long lost Descartes letter. And finally, just for fun, a new look at Abraham Lincoln…and vampires.
- Brown Professor Wins History Prize
Gordon S. Wood wins the American History Book Prize from the New-York Historical Society for Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815. The award comes with $50,000 and the title American Historian Laureate.
- Understanding the Participatory News Consumer
The Pew Internet and American Life Project reports on an extensive survey showing the wide variety of media American’s use to read the news—with the internet surpassing all the rest.
- Why Collecting History Online is Web 1.5
Sheila Brennan and T. Mills Kelly describe some of the challenges of trying to create an online history archive that is both open and well structured.
- Digital Disappearance
In this article, journalist Melinda Burns studies in detail the ease with which digital materials can be erased from the historical record.
- Competition for Google: A German Library for the 21st Century
Der Spiegel reports on efforts to create a German Digital Library as “an online center for millions of books, magazines, photographs and films. Libraries, museums and archives all over the country.”
- The (Very) French Argument against Google Books
Following in the Europeans and Google Books theme, over at HNN, Christine S. Haynes (UNC, Charlotte) traces the long history of French cultural attitudes that feed into their objections to the Google Book Project.
- Exploring Women’s History
EDSITEment has put up numerous resources for Women’s History Month. Check out their links to podcasts, videos, images, lesson plans and more.
- Taking Black History Out Of The Peanut Gallery
Sam Sanders at NPR criticizes how Black History Month highlights “historical coverage [that] is one-dimensional, mawkish, and well, boring” and suggests new ways to convey “intricacies of the lives our ancestors lived, their human flaws, something that made them a little bit more — relatable. Or better yet, something that would help us believe we could aspire to their greatness.”
- Key Letter by Descartes, Lost for 170 Years, Turns Up at Haverford
Researcher doing work with the at Haverford College archives discovers 1641 letter from René Descartes to Marin Mersenne.
- Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
From the creators of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies comes the new “history/vampire mashup, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.”
Contributors: David Darlington, Elisabeth Grant, and Robert B. Townsend
This post first appeared on AHA Today.
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