Twenty Years After the Fall

By - Systems Librarian November 9th, 2009

Lisa Laughy – Library Web Services

Today marks twenty years since the Berlin wall began to come down. To commemorate this significant event, Ohrstrom has two displays in the Library. Come in and see the selection of books on the Berlin wall on display in the Baker Reading Room. On the lower level in the lobby you can see the ongoing Berlin Wall display put together by ASP teacher Richard Schade, ’62. You can read more about that display in an earlier Ohrstrom Blog post HERE.

Online you can see a slide show of images from the Google Life Image Archives HERE.

Primary Source Round-up: Something for Everyone

By - Research & Instruction Librarian May 8th, 2009

Lura Sanborn – Reference Librarian

Gathering primary sources for your Fifth Form paper?  Ohrstrom Library offers the following sources and suggestions:

Online Databases:
These databases, available through the Library’s website, are those most commonly used by Fifth Formers looking for primary source periodical material.

  • London Times – Provides the full-text of this newspaper from 1785-1985.
  • Historical Newspaper Collection – Provides the full-text of 6 major U.S. newspapers from 1851 through the early 2000s.
  • JSTOR – features a collection of 750+ journals, most dating from at least the 1800s forward.  (Note, be sure to watch the date.  A recent article on your topic represents current research, not a likely primary source.)

Books – More Primary Source Potential:
You can locate primary sources published in book form by using the following terms as subject searches in the Library’s Online Catalog.  Or, conduct a keyword search using one term below combined with your topic (i.e. Correspondence, Darwin; or Sources, Inquisition).

  • Correspondence
  • Diaries
  • Interviews
  • Personal narratives
  • Speeches
  • Sources

Frequently, primary sources are embedded within books considered secondary sources.  For example, a book about the Cold War may contain the text of a relevant speech, letter and/or legal document.

Venturing Online – Visit the Library @ Delicious:
The Library has begun collecting high quality websites in its own Delicious account.  Click on the “Primary Sources” tag to generate a list of websites housing exceptional collections of primary sources.  Top picks are also listed in the Fifth Form paper research guide.

Google Advanced Search Techniques:
As a final online tip, try searching your subject in Google, but first, limit the domain to .edu and add the word archives to your search string.  If a University or College library has digitized a special collection in your area of research, this search could help you find it.

Google for LIFE

By - Systems Librarian February 17th, 2009

Lisa Laughy – Archives Assistant

A few months ago Google began offering access to an unprecedented collection of photographs available as part of the Google Image search.  Google has partnered with LIFE Magazine to offer the LIFE Photo Archive, a fully searchable database of images from the extensive collection amassed over the years by LIFE Magazine.

According to the Official Google Blog:

“This collection of newly-digitized images includes photos and etchings produced and owned by LIFE dating all the way back to the 1750s.

Only a very small percentage of these images have ever been published. The rest have been sitting in dusty archives in the form of negatives, slides, glass plates, etchings, and prints. We’re digitizing them so that everyone can easily experience these fascinating moments in time. Today about 20 percent of the collection is online; during the next few months, we will be adding the entire LIFE archive — about 10 million photos.”

This incredible visual resource is available for “personal non-commercial use only” providing students a valuable research tool.  Fourth Form students working on their research papers may find inspiration by browsing the image collection for their assigned date range.  Additionally, students researching a particular photographer could search for works by that artist, and students researching specific events could find images related to that event.

Whatever your research needs are, be sure to take time to browse through the LIFE Photo Archive.

Apollo 14 astronauts Alan Shepard & Elgar Mitchell practicing moon landing procedures inside LM simulator.

Apollo 14 astronauts Alan Shepard & Elgar Mitchell practicing moon landing procedures inside LM simulator, 1970.