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One of the NDL editors, Juretta Heckschur, sent this list of website reviews to our internal website and we thought you would like to know it's out there.  If you want to subscribe yourself, you'll find subscription information at the bottom of the message.

Betty

***********


From: SiteScene Assistant Editor, Michael Yellin <[log in to unmask]>

S i t e S c e n e
A Monthly Review of Electronic Resources in American Studies

Editor: Edward J Gallagher, Lehigh University <[log in to unmask]>
Assistant Editor: Michael Yellin, Lehigh University <[log in to unmask]>
SiteScene 19, July, 2000
The following ten sites are included in this edition of SiteScene:

[1] EDUCATION
Teaching Politics: Techniques and Technologies

[2] GENDER, SEXUALITY, AND THE BODY
Women at War

[3] HISTORY AND HISTORICAL CULTURE STUDIES
WPA Life Histories Collection

[4] MATERIAL CULTURE
The Pre-Columbian Graphic Arts Website (PGAWS)

[5-6] POPULAR CULTURE AND MEDIA CULTURES
The Comics Journal
MZTV: Museum of Television

[7-8] RACE, ETHNICITY, AND IDENTITY
Image Archive on the American Eugenics Movement
Project HAL: Historical American Lynching Data Collection Project

[9-10] REGIONAL STUDIES
Historic Pittsburgh
Tending the Commons: Folklife and Landscape in Southern West Virginia

[1/10]

Name: Teaching Politics: Techniques and Technologies
URL: http://teachpol.tcnj.edu/

Teaching Resource: Archive

Brief Description: At this site visitors will find a collection of
resource materials for the teaching and learning about politics in
higher education settings.

Review: Teaching Politics makes available highly specialized academic
content about the teaching of politics. All navigation of the site is
done through a drop down menu located on the top right of each web
page.  There is a searchable index for the entire site, and individual
sections of the site can be searched from their own pages.  The site's
resources are arranged in the following sections: Images, Conference
Papers, Book Reviews, Virtual Conference, The Guide to Teaching,
Multimedia Resources, H-Teachpol Discussion List, and The Web Crawler.
The Images section contains over 500 public domain images of American
Political History. The conference papers cover a variety of topics and
are published in Adobe PDF format. The books reviewed address politics
from a teaching perspective. The Virtual Conference, originally held
online in 1999, is comprised of 20 papers (HTML format) and video
presentations.

The Guide to Teaching contains advice on teaching topics such as grading
policies, writing assignments, and using technology in the classroom.
The Multimedia Resources section consists of papers, video, newsletters
from the American Political Science Association's Conference Group on
Politics and Film, illustrated descriptions and video tours of a variety
of multimedia classrooms used to teach politics, and a selective,
annotated list of online resources for teaching political science,
particularly U. S. politics, which includes sites entitled Archiving
Early America, FDR Cartoon Archive, and Rare Map Collection at the
Hargrett Library. There is also information concerning the H-Teachpol
discussion list and a link to access it. And, finally, The Web Crawler
provides a searchable index of websites such as political science
department websites and online political science syllabi. The quality
of the content on this site is excellent.

The site is easily navigated, though I experienced difficulty accessing
information from The Web Crawler ("Page Not Found" error messages were
repeatedly encountered during the review session). Also, one must keep
in mind that a fast Internet connection (T1, ISDN, cable) is highly
desirable for the viewing of the video presentations; video and audio
quality was choppy and erratic while using a dial-up connection (56K).


Suggestion for Use: Teaching Politics is a fine resource best suited
for post-secondary teachers of political science, especially those just
getting started.

Addendum: This site requires a JavaScript compatible browser (for the
navigation menu), one that interprets tables and forms. Some content
is in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) or Real Networks
RealAudio/RealVideo format. These plug-ins are required to view this
content.

Reviewed by: John R. Woznicki,
Department of English, Fairmont State College (WV)
[log in to unmask]

[2/10]

Name:  Women at War
URL: http://www.redstone.army.mil/history/women/welcome.html

Resource Type: Hypertext

Brief Description: Women at War is an essay about women's roles in two
chemical warfare plants during World War II.

Review:  This is an online version of an essay written by Dr. Kaylene
Hughes that was presented in 1992 to the Conference of Army
Historians.

As part of Redstone Arsenal's Historical Information Pages
(http://www.redstone.army.mil/history), this essay discusses the
history of women who worked at Redstone Arsenal and at nearby
Huntsville Arsenal in Alabama in the early 1940s; both plants were
involved in creating chemical weapons for use in the war.  Training,
employment, relationships with male bosses and fellow employees, and
life in the arsenal are all placed within the larger context of women at
war in the United States.

The title of this site is obviously misleading, since what we get is
actually a small (albeit important) chunk of WWII history. There are
some invaluable thumbnailed photos on the page (with links to larger,
more detailed photos), a 7-minute movie based on the text (which can
be downloaded using either RealPlayer or Windows Media Player), and lots
of links to other areas of Redstone Arsenal's Pages (especially cool are
the photo archive and oral histories). But it seems that this essay
might have been ultimately more effective as a hypertext document with
links to other sites on the web.

Suggestions for Use:  An interesting article that would prove great
for further study about women in war, American life on the home front
during WWII, or military history.

Addendum:  The short movie requires a quick web server.  When I
clicked on the Windows Media Player link, all I got was a page full of
computer gobbledygook.  The rest of the site claims that it's still trying to
iron out some bugs--maybe this is one of them?

Reviewed by: Anthony C. Bleach
English Department, Lehigh University
[log in to unmask]

[3/10]

Name: WPA Life Histories Collection

URL: http://eagle.vsla.edu/wpa

Resource Type:  Archive

Brief Description: Produced by the Library of Virginia, the Collection
consists of interviews and surveys conducted by the Virginia Writers'
Project during the Depression.  There are 1,350 life histories and
social-ethnic studies, 50 interviews with former slaves, and a small
number of folklore studies.

Review:  One of many digital projects of the Library of Virginia, the
WPA Life Histories Collection provides access to interviews undertaken
between 1936 to 1942 by the Virginia Writers' Project, a part of the
Federal Writers' Project of the Work Projects Administration (WPA).
The original aim of the Virginia Writers' Project was to gather information
about various occupational groups in urban and rural environments and
chronicle individual experiences during the Depression.  The life
histories, which range from four to fifteen typed pages, were
transcribed from interviews by field workers, and some underwent an
editing process by the Project.  Many of the interviews capture
recollections from the late nineteenth through the early twentieth
century and document family life, health conditions, employment and
educational opportunities (or the lack of such), gender roles,
religious beliefs and practices, and personal and communal socio-economic
conditions.  In total, the life histories provide a "snapshot of the
lives of ordinary people" in a largely rural environment.

The WPA Life Histories Collection project provides access to the
digitized texts of  approximately 1,400 Virginia life histories.  In
addition, researchers can search the Collection by keyword or phrase
and can conduct precise boolean and combination searches.  Each
indexing/catalog record contains the name of the interviewee and the
interviewer, title of the life history, date of the interview, notes
describing the major subjects discussed in the life history, a summary
of the interview, excellent subject indexing, and a link to the
digitized document.  All elements of the indexing record are keyword
searchable.  Some sample searches yielded the following results:
"sharecroppers," 26 histories; "slave," 57 histories; "tobacco," 21
histories; "illness and agriculture," 11 histories; "alcohol," 17
histories; "college education," 43 histories; "cancer," 4 histories;
"marriage," 97 histories.

Accessing the digital versions of the typed histories is rather
cumbersome and not instinctive; thus, use of this collection will
largely be limited to researchers and graduate students.  Use by
undergraduates would require instruction.  Images must be reformatted
(using Adobe Acrobat) by zooming to make them smaller for appearance
on the screen, and these original documents are often difficult to read.
Each page of a history must be individually retrieved.

Suggestion for Use:  Researchers investigating social and economic
conditions during the Depression can access materials previously
available only in a few Virginia libraries; advanced college students
can experience use of "primary" source materials in historical
research.  The Collection is especially valuable for research on
gender issues during the late nineteenth and early third of the twentieth
century.

Reviewed by: Judith Adams-Volpe
Lockwood Memorial Library, University at Buffalo
[log in to unmask]

[4/10]

Name: The Pre-Columbian Graphic Arts Website (PGAWS)

URL:  http://members.aol.com/hasawchan/precolart.html
The URL for the main directory is
http://members.aol.com/hasawachan/directory.html.

Resource Type: Archive/ Exhibit

Brief Description: This site is devoted to Pre-Columbian art and
architecture, particularly the areas of Central America.  Included are
extensive archived photographs, animated graphics, interactive maps, a
timeline, drawings, and informational text related to Mesoamerican
sites in Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala.

Review: This website is developed as an extensive introduction to
Pre-Columbian art and architecture for the regions of Mexico,
Honduras, and Guatemala.  As such it provides an excellent initial point for a
variety of research interests pertaining to this region, including
travel, history, archaeology, and geography.  Currently, the website
is primarily devoted to the presentation of Classic Mayan arts, crafts,
and architecture (AD 250-900) with somewhat lesser emphasis on other
Mesoamerican tribes such as the Aztec and Olmec.  It is subdivided
into four parts that open as separate internal webpages.  This feature can
lead to some pages or images loading slowly but does not seem to be a
great burden to navigation.

Part I is devoted to the commercial and technical pages of PGAWS,
which include an array of other Mesoamerican website links and online
consumer catalogs.

Part II focuses exclusively on the broader issue of chronology and
lifeways in Mesoamerica and presents a timeline and clickable maps.
Part III is similar but takes a more pointed look into the world of
the Classic Maya, their art and architecture.  Images and text related to
a number of significant archaeological sites such as Usumacinta, Piedras
Negras, Yaxchilan, Bonampak, El Cayo, and El Chicozapote are
represented.  Additional unique features of this area include animated
sequences on "How to Build a Maya Pyramid" and the "Maya Astronomical
Calendar."  Finally, Part IV presents images and text related to key
regional museums in Mexico.

This is an excellent and well-organized web resource and is quite
navigable, even between the internal websites. The only significant
problem was that on occasion there would be four or five internal
webpages open at once.  Each webpage can be closed and there is a main
directory that can be used as a point of navigation between the
internal websites.

Suggestions for Use: This interesting web resource would be especially
useful for initial research pertinent to Mesoamerican prehistory,
traditional architecture, arts, and crafts.  It also presents itself
as an excellent resource for those seeking to develop an appreciation for
traditional forms of art and expression.  In addition, this site would
be an excellent resource for those preparing for or considering a trip
to any of these areas.

Reviewed by: John E. Dockall
Bernice P. Bishop Museum, Honolulu, Hawaii
[log in to unmask]

[5/10]

Name: The Comics Journal

URL: http://www.tcj.com/front.html

Resource Type: Webzine

Brief Description: This site is the online home of The Comic Journal,
the "arts-first" magazine about the comics medium.  Unlike comic
"fanzines," the Journal treats comics as an art form worthy of serious
critical consideration.
Review:  As the site says, "Comics are the great hidden cultural
treasure of the 20th century, and The Comics Journal is dedicated to
taking them seriously -- from monitoring their industries to serious
criticism of the best works -- in the hope that the medium will
continue to grow and secure for itself the widest possible consideration
of its best works."  To this end, TCJ prides themselves on their attention
to and coverage of comics from the family-oriented Peanuts and Calvin
and Hobbes strips, to the superhero comics of Jack Kirby, to the great
American underground and/or neglected comics like Yummy Fur and
Love and Rockets.

The site is split roughly in two: we get information from the print
version of TCJ as well as from TCJ Online.  In the former, you'll find
information about the latest issue, details on subscribing and
ordering back issues, advertising, and writers' guidelines.  And in an
impressive online archive, you'll find intelligent and accessible samples of
interviews with comic art luminaries like Art Spiegelman (creator of
Maus) and Terry Gilliam (director of Brazil); editorials from past
issues of TCJ; and reviews of comics from Artbabe to Zippy the
Pinhead.
(Warning! Some pages have a broken link to something called "ABCs of
Alternative Comics"; considering the trove of information on the
site's other pages, this broken link is an unfortunate loss.)

TCJ Online features "Newsflash Newswatch" to keep you updated on the
latest in the comics industry; an online editorial page; a short
interview with a younger comics art creator; and other "lists,
resources and bizarre miscellany" to keep your online jones satisfied.  There
are also sections called "Raging Bullpen," with smart and entertaining
columns that'll keep you reading and laughing; "Thrown to the Wolves,"
a forum where comics creators can send their work to TCJ to be reviewed;
and "Trimmings," with lots of online exclusive extras from prior TCJ
interviews.  This site also features a well-traveled and
well-organized message board.

With all the serious attention to the medium, though, why not more art
itself?  The snippets that garnish the banners and interviews and
editorials kept me drooling for more and better quality samples from
the artists.  But this seems like a minor quibble considering the rest of
the goodies on display.

Suggestions for Use:  This is an extremely easy-to-use and beautifully
simple site that'll appeal to comics geeks and novices alike.  Also
cool for those interested in American Studies, Art History, and Popular
Culture.

Reviewed by: Anthony C. Bleach
English Department, Lehigh University
[log in to unmask]

[6/10]

Name: MZTV: Museum of Television
(The site is also available in French: MZTV: Musee de la Television)

URL: http://www.chumcity.com/mztv/

Resource Type: Exhibit

Brief Description: Mirroring the actual Museum of Television in Toronto
and a television show based on the museum, this site provides viewers with
an interesting  history of the shows, people, and mechanical products of
early television.

Review: Visitors to this site are first invited to view the site in
English or French, both of which have the same information, pictures,
and articles.  Once entering the site, you can chose from several
different areas.  The "Virtual Gallery" takes you on a fascinating
exploration of three different topics, each its own exhibit: "The
Predictas" (a history of early Philco televisions with excellent
photos of original models), "The Mechanical TV  Era" (the story of
television's predecessors, also with interesting photos),  and "The 1939 Worlds
Fair" (an exploration of where TV first debuted).  This section provides
detailed historical entries peppered with photos, many of which are
rare.

The second main area of the site is "MZTV Museum," which discusses the
background of the project, including its mission: "to secure the
technological history of the TV receiver, and to contribute to the
understanding of the impact of television by collecting, displaying,
documenting, and interpreting television sets and related ephemera."
The next main section, "Expositions," allows visitors to read the essay
"Watching TV: Historic Television and Memorabilia from the MZTV
Museum" and see accompanying images.  A fourth section provides
feedback people have sent in to the Museum: this section is titled
"The MZTV Oral History Project."  There is also a "Video Archive"
that provides the unique opportunity to  re-live history by seeing the
actual clips of historical events, such as  JFK's assassination news
coverage. Finally, the "Why This Collection?" section provides visitors
with the story of Chairman and Executive Producer Moses Znaimer
and why he founded the museum.  Overall, this site is comprehensive,
interesting, and enlightening.

Note: The video clips are somewhat slow to download, so be prepared.

Suggestion for Use: This site would be useful to anyone in college or
Graduate School who is interested to see the roots of modern
television.

Reviewed by: Kathleen Hunzer
English Department, Lehigh University
[log in to unmask]

[7/10]

Name: Image Archive on the American Eugenics Movement

URL: http://vector.cshl.org/eugenics

Resource Type: Archive/ Exhibit

Brief Description: Genetics research leader Cold Spring Harbor
Laboratory's site on the American Eugenics Movement, 1910-1940,
represents the history of science at its most germane.  More than a
barearchive, this site's collection is enhanced by its fine articles about
this under-explored period in American history.  Combining an image
archive and simple, readable text is a powerful use of the Internet,
creating a virtual museum instantly accessible to everyone at no cost.


Review: While the image archive is certainly extensive and useful, the
most impressive aspect of this site is its illustrated description of
the American Eugenics Movement.   Holding court most prominently in
the chaotic period between 1910 and 1940, eugenicists attempted to provide
explanations for the threatening changes and increasing poverty they
saw nvading the American landscape.  Thus, the description begins with
the "economic, social, and political context in which [the movement]
flourished" and the scientific milieu in which practitioners were
operating.  Garland E. Allen's essay, "The Social Origins of Eugenics,"
sets up a vivid and comprehensive context for the site's material, a
context that Steve Selden and Paul Lombardo make even more evident as
they map it directly onto the events and ideas that make up the eugenics
movement.    And since eugenics was a way of thought deeply dependent
on visual "evidence," the text is supported by numerous startling and
informative images.  Fortunately, the creators have succeeded in
presenting these images without  reproducing exploitive displays of
genetic abnormalities.

In an attempt to be precise and complete, this website is a bit
text-heavy and requires a lot of time to peruse relative to other
resources on the Internet.  Yet, this effort pays off in an
authoritative and useful resource for students and connoisseurs of
American History.  For example, David Mieklos and Jan Witkowski of
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory do an excellent job of linking American
scientists like Charles Davenport with the research of the famous
European Gregor Mendel, revealing the scientific and historic way in
which eugenicists attempted to justify their conclusions.

It is well known that theories of race science have abounded in the
world, especially in the early twentieth century.  What is less well
known and under-appreciated is how completely the formally egalitarian
United States involved itself in this destructive movement.  The Image
Archive of the American Eugenics Movement makes this recondite truth
an unavoidable chapter in American history.  With a good connection and
an updated web browser, this site can be easily viewed and navigated.

Suggestion for Use: This site is good for an introduction into the
American Eugenics Movement for secondary and tertiary level history
classes, American and European, and very useful for authors looking
for images to support written material.

Addendum: Requires the plugin Flashplayer, available on the site.

Reviewed by: Eric S. Yellin
[log in to unmask]

[8/10]

Name: Project HAL: Historical American Lynching Data Collection
Project

URL: http://www.uncwil.edu/earsci/projectHAL.htm

Resource Type: Interactive Tool

Brief Description: The Project HAL site allows users to submit data on
lynching incidents via an automated electronic form.  There is very
little pedagogical content on this page.

Review:  Administered by Elizabeth Hines, Ph.D. (a geographer and
Earth Science Professor at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington) and
Eliza Steelwater, Ph.D. (an independent scholar from Bloomington,
Indiana), the Project HAL website is an attempt to create a lynching
database "analogous to the comprehensive list of legal executions
compiled by M. Watt Espy of the Capital Punishment Research Project."
The site contains a pair of images related to lynching, a brief
statement of purpose and scope, a definition of lynching, a list of
goals for the project, and addresses where documents recording
lynchings can be sent; however, most of the site is devoted to the automated
electronic form that allows users to submit information regarding
lynching incidents.  The requested information includes the names,
ages, genders, and races/ethnicities/nationalities of the victims; the
location, date, and duration of the incident; the size, gender ratio,
and race/ethnicity of the mob that committed the lynching; a narrative
of the lynching; the information source; and contributor information.
Once the form has been submitted, the project administers verifies the
information and adds it to the database.  Unfortunately, the site does
not specify where or when this information will be made available.

This site does not offer anything to beginning students seeking
information on lynching in America.  However, it does enable scholars
and advanced students to participate in a tremendously important
historical project.

Suggestion for Use: An ambitious professor of a graduate or senior
level American history seminar could ask his/her students to research
lynching  incidents and submit forms to Project HAL.

Reviewed by: Michael Yellin
English Department, Lehigh University
[log in to unmask]

[9/10]

Name: Historic Pittsburgh

URL: http://digital.library.pitt.edu/pittsburgh/mainpage.html

Resource Type: Archive

Brief Description: This site serves as a digital, primary resource
collection of numerous 19th and early 20th century documents (texts,
illustrations, and maps) related to Pittsburgh and the surrounding
Western Pennsylvania area.

Review: A collaboration of the University of Pittsburgh and the
Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, Historic Pittsburgh
provides access to documents detailing various aspects of the city,
from local government and city planning records to social directories
and private letters.  The site contains numerous search formats to
sort through its material, promising over 500 textual items and 700
maps once complete, and researchers will eventually be able to search
the maps collection for street names and landmarks.  A brief survey of
its books, reports, and personal correspondences reveals a diversity of
subject matter, such as local accounts of U.S. Civil War involvement
and Socialist Party publications, which chronicles the development of
Pittsburgh through the American Industrial Age.

The online map collection, from the G. M. Hopkins Company, covers the
city from 1872 to 1939 and has both scalable resolution and image size.
With its scholarly presentation, Historic Pittsburgh provides easy
document access, and scholars and teachers specializing in theAmerican
city may find any number of them useful.  An emphasis has been placed
on archiving primary texts that are in the public domain.

Suggestion for Use: Researchers interested in 19th and early 20th
century Pittsburgh and its surrounding environs (or Urban and Industrial
America in general) will principally find this site of interest,
especially with documents not easily accessible otherwise.

Addendum:  All documents and maps for Historic Pittsburgh appear as
scanned TIFF files.

Reviewed by: Robert A. Wilson
English Department, Lehigh University
[log in to unmask]

[10/10]

Name: Tending the Commons:  Folklife and Landscape in Southern West
Virginia

URL: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/cmnshtml/cmnshome.html

Resource Type: Indexed Exhibit/ Search Engine

Brief Description: This site provides articles, photos, maps, diagrams,
and interviews exploring the intersection of local history and local
ecology in the coal river region of southern West Virginia.

Review: "Tending the Commons" refers to both the land worked
communally to provide subsistence for people living in this economically
depressed area of West Virginia's coal region and the people themselves,
whose rich oral history constitutes a wealth of information on the demise
of the forests in this area.  Because so many of the region's inhabitants
have found the need to supplement their earnings from the coal economy
with a "seasonal round" of hunting and gathering, they have developed a
vast knowledge of the local forests, which are considered some the richest
hardwood temperate forests in existence.  Their stories chronicle the loss
of important species of trees, plants, and animals in their region and offer
insight into the complex interdependency of the region.  This site, which is
based on the American Folklife Center's Coal River Folklife Project
(completed in 1999), conveys their experience through interviews,
articles, and images.

Interviews are accessible through audio files, and the inhabitants'
way of life has been preserved in an archive of over a thousand
photographs.  An overview of this information is provided by articles,
such as "Seasonal Round of Activities on Coal River" and "Ramp
Suppers, Biodiversity, and the Integrity of 'The Mountains,'" reprinted from
Folklife Center News.  The search engine works with both keyword and
subject searches, and the indexed photo and audio archives are easily
navigable.  Anyone seeking information on West Virginia or Appalachian
ecology and culture would do well to explore this site.

Suggestion for Use: Any scholar of Appalachia, particularly one
interested in the intersection of community and landscape, will find
this site informative.

Addendum: The audio files are accessible using RealAudio, MPG or .wav.

Photos
are either .gif or .jpg files.

Reviewed by: Dr. Tamara Kendig
West Virginia Wesleyan College
[log in to unmask]


SiteScene is edited by Edward J. Gallagher, Lehigh University
<[log in to unmask]> http://www.lehigh.edu/~ejg1/ejg1.html

SiteScene reviewers: Judith Adams-Volpe, Thomas R. Bierowski, Anthony
Bleach, Joanna Brooks, Harry J. Brown, Lauren Brown, Craig Coenen,
Tracey A. Cummings, John Dockall, Jeff Finlay, Edward J. Gallagher,
Susana L. Gallardo, Chris Hale, Miriam Hardin, Jennifer Harrison,
Kathleen Hunzer, Elvira Jensen Casado, Maria Karafilis, L. Tamara
Kendig, Emma Lambert, Kristin Mapel-Bloomberg, Julie McGee, Greg
Moses, Karen Parsons, Samuel C. Pearson, Geoff Pitcher, Kathy Purnell,
Melinda M. Schwenk, Keiyana Scott, Gregory Singleton, Kevin Smokler, Bruce
Spear, Mary Strunk, Peter W. Williams, Robert Wilson, John R.
Woznicki, Eric Yellin, Michael Yellin

SiteScene was initiated in 1998 by Jeff Finlay, as part of the
American Studies Crossroads Project.

Past issues of SiteScene are archived on the Crossroads Project Web
site at:
http://www.georgetown.edu/crossroads/asw/sitescene.html

You can receive SiteScene by email each month by subscribing to the
Roadsign listserv. Send the following message to
[log in to unmask]

subscribe roadsign <your name>

(c) All reviews are copyright of their authors and may be
redistributed
electronically if properly accredited.

If you would like to be considered as a reviewer, please contact
Edward
J. Gallagher at [log in to unmask]

--
Edward J. Gallagher
http://www.lehigh.edu/~ejg1/ejg1.html

Society of Early Americanists' Teaching Page
http://www.lehigh.edu/~ejg1/topics.html

SiteScene: A Monthly Review of Electronic Resources in American
Studies
http://www.lehigh.edu/~ejg1/sitescene/main.html