Broad Gauge Sites
This Library of Congress site allows users to browse by type of collection (photos, documents, motion pictures, sound recordings) or access collections through an index of distinct exhibits. Exhibits include The Continental Congress, a portrait gallery of American Presidents and First Ladies, The Variety Stage (1870-1920), Early Motion Pictures, a collection of political speeches from World War I and the 1920’s, Jackie Robinson and an Historic American Building Survey (1933-present). Many exhibits include the full text of primary documents such as WPA-era interviews and African American pamphlets; most exhibits include images; some exhibits use audio files.
Discovery's site features information in the areas of History, Technology, Science, Nature, and Exploration. Each topical area includes online exhibits utilizing audio, video and animation, as well as archives of past exhibits, roundtable discussions with experts in the field and suggested follow up activities for students. The history section includes an on-going participatory feature, "Someone in Time," which asks users to identify a historical figure using a set of visual and auditory clues. Current exhibits include the Titanic, teleportation of photons, and a journey to the island of Taquile.
The History Net: Where History Lives on the Web
The National Historical Society sponsors this site, which includes several online exhibits, a searchable article index providing full-text access to articles from _American History_, multimedia and book reviews, interactive e-mail forums on several branches of historical inquiry and an index of historical events and exhibits happening around the world (divided by month). Weekly features focus on topics such as the Black Panthers, Native American basketry and the California Gold Rush. Special sections of the site provide access to interviews concerning and personality profiles of historical figures, eyewitness accounts of major historical events, information on great battles, aviation history, the history of technology, historic homes, the military and travel.
Houston Chronicle Interactive (HCI)
This series of "Virtual Voyages" leads users through virtual tours/exhibits. An interactive virtual voyage around the world enables users to track the progress of a sailing team traveling around the globe in 1997. The travelers send reports, images and navigational information to HCI through satellite telephone hook up and receive e-mail from users in the same fashion. The exhibits feature stories and interviews by Houston Chronicle reporters, user discussion forums, audio files, movies and VRML simulations. Currently users can access exhibits on UFO's, Route 66, Elvis Presley, the Good Housekeeping Institute, and the Mir space station. The site houses a hypertext magazine and an index of software available from HCI.
This ambitious site provides general information on significant places, people, events, and concepts in world history. Users may access information through timelines or through chronologically subdivided maps which link to detailed regional maps. Various timelines chart significant people in history (the people are color-coded topically so that for any given era users can quickly find scientists, religious figures, etc.), events (again, color coded) or comparatively illustrate developments occurring in several civilizations simultaneously. In each of the above cases, events and people in the timelines serve as links to illuminating secondary texts.
for Public Broadcasting (CPB)
This site for educators and students features an interactive "Journey North" component, which allows students and teachers at over 2,200 schools across the country to participate in the tracking of seasonal/climatic change and wildlife migration in the U.S. Other multimedia exhibits on Volcanoes and the Middle Ages incorporate audio and video technology as well as games. An Educator's Guide allows teachers to access thousands of articles on curriculum, assessment, reform initiatives, and educational resources. Other components of the site function as learning extensions for CPB programs and include listserves, lesson plans, and suggested follow up projects for students.
National Archives and Records Administration
This site includes an Exhibit Hall, Digital Classroom, Research Room, and Government Information resource. Current exhibits feature World War II posters, Portraits of Black Chicago, Nixon's meeting with Elvis, and Charters of Freedom. Visitors can access a genealogy page from the Research Room; an Archival Information Locator can be used to search records of Government Agencies.
Archiving Early America
Dedicated to presenting historical documents from the eighteenth century in a constructive space, this site serves as a resource and as a forum. The site archives documents and maps; it features _The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin_, _The Life of Washington_ and _The Adventures of Daniel Boon_ (sic). Users access the _Early American Review_ (with an audio option) and participate in the Town Crier, a forum for discussion among educators, students, historians, researchers and journalists.
This project by a University of Virginia student uses a hypertext tool called BrowseSpace to digitally represent the various editorial changes undergone by Emily Dickinson's poems. Addressing specifically the poems of Dickinson’s self-bound publication Fascicle 16, the site presents each poem in its variations; in one of the poem’s presentations, the text of the poem continually changes on the screen. The site’s author takes the transformative aspect of this poetry as a starting point for an exploration of the function and capacity of text and of hypertext.
Documenting the American South
This site from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill focuses on the Southern experience in Nineteenth century America. Its major resource is a digitized library of over seventy titles from the beginning of Southern literature to 1920. The documents range in genre from narratives on slavery to diaries and memoirs to autobiographies. The site provides links to other sources for Southern Americana.
This is not the official museum site, but it provides general introductory information on the history of Ellis Island. The site’s main task is to give users a feeling for the experience of coming to America as an immigrant. Thus the site includes features on what the actual journey would have entailed, Americanization procedures and the immigrants’ means of preserving their culture in the new world. An oral history project begun by the National Park Service enables the incorporation of immigrant oral histories as audio files at various points throughout the site.
Benjamin Franklin: A Documentary History
From the University of Delaware comes this comprehensive site, which traces Franklin's career through seven phases. Essentially a chronology of Franklin’s life, the site enables users to follow Franklin’s daily activities from his years as a printer in Philadelphia to those serving as unofficial ambassador and statesman. The site is a work in progress with an expected date of completion of 2005.
The Great War
This site provides information on World War I through various gateways. A timeline provides links to interviews with historians and critical bibliographic information on selected people, places and events; a section of maps allows users to compare past and present views of WWI-era towns and battlefields. Users access synopses of the episodes of the PBS documentary to which this site is an accompaniment; actual program excerpts are also available. The interviews, with nearly twenty historians specializing in the First World War, cover a variety of subjects ranging in focus from events leading up to the war to incidents during the war to its aftermath and effect on the course of history.
This site provides information both on Jefferson and on the documentary filmmaking process. An online forum/discussion among leading Jefferson scholars questions Jefferson’s legacy; an archive provides access to Jefferson's writings as well as transcripts of twenty-four interviews with historians and other scholars used in the making of the film. A photo essay, “The Pursuit of Happiness,” explores different conceptualizations of that phrase by the American public. Also included is a schematic of the filmmaking production timetable with links to commentary by filmmaker Ken Burns and others involved in the process.
Lewis and Clark
This Web companion to the Ken Burns documentary on the journey of the Corps of Discovery provides extensive coverage of the actual expedition as well as the conditions surrounding the expedition. The site’s archive includes a searchable edition of the journals; a timeline tracks the journey as well. A Native American Index organizes information on the extant Native populations. The site also features a virtual panel of experts which uses RealAudio, and a video forum with director Burns. Its more interactive component is a game called “Into the Unknown” through which users gain understanding of the daily realities of exploration.
From Revolution to Reconstruction
This collaborative site was originally conceived at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands by students in the Art History, American Studies and History programs. The site is organized through a chronological outline of American history; documents, including letters, speeches, maps, biographies and critical articles, are indexed by year. Presidents, and documents associated with specific presidents, are also listed and linked separately. Ambitious in scope, the site not only serves as a valuable resource for those seeking key American documents, but affords a promising outlook for the possibilities of interdisciplinary cooperation on the Web.
The Valley of the Shadow
Historian Edward Ayers, in conjunction with the University of Virginia’s Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, has created this site to illuminate the impact of the Civil War on two representative communities. The site compares life in Franklin County, Pennsylvania and Augusta County, Virginia from the 1850’s through Reconstruction. An image map in the site's introduction provides easy navigation through information from an impressive variety of federal, state, and local sources. This includes census data, tax digests, military records, newspapers, church records, slave narratives, slaveholder records, letters, diaries and maps.
This site is designed to accompany the Ken Burns documentary. Users learn about the West through an interactive timeline, which allows users to jump topically (following the same person/place/movement across large expanses of time); users may also proceed in strict chronological fashion. The site includes biographies of significant people in the Old West, an archive of primary historical documents, interactive maps of trade routes, landmarks and settlements and puzzles and games.
The White House
This virtual visit to the White House includes an Interactive Citizen's Handbook, a Virtual Library of documents, radio addresses, executive orders (searchable by subject) and photographs, and a Briefing Room containing the latest press releases and federal statistics. Users can tour the White House as well as obtain updates on recent presidential activities.
Course and/or Program-Specific Sites
Electronic Poetry Center, University of Buffalo
This site is a rich source of information for anyone studying contemporary poetry and exemplifies meaningful use of technology in the Humanities. The site includes an electronic journal of contemporary poetry and a sizable index of links to other online journals; also featured are reviews of CD-ROM products and books, bibliographies and articles on the teaching of poetry. Linebreak, an archive of audio files, includes interviews with poets and clips of poets reading their own works. Users can participate in a live discussion forum using Internet Relay Chat or access online readings (transcripts of past discussions and performance events are also available). An author index provides access to information on more than one hundred contemporary poets and critics. Individual author pages include images, audio files, syllabi for those who are currently teaching, selected online works, biographies, lists of publications, and critical bibliographies.
Networked Writing Environment (NWE), University of Florida
The NWE site represents an interesting collaborative effort on the part of writing instructors at the University of Florida. The site includes syllabi and class schedules for a number of writing courses (not all classes are online at present), an index of individual and collaborative projects on literary theory and cultural studies generated through the writing classes, instructions for students to edit each other’s work and host panel discussions online.
Crossroads Project at Georgetown University
This site serves as a platform for the American Studies Association. It provides a space in which projects relating to American Studies can exist in experimental form. Based at Georgetown, the Crossroads Project tracks American Studies programs across the country and throughout the world. Thus a component of the site is dedicated to providing users access to the sites of other schools’ programs; schools whose programs significantly utilize the Web are highlighted.
Virtual Greenbelt, University of Maryland
A collaborative project from several courses at the University of Maryland, this site provides an exhibit on suburban life/contemporary urban planning. The site includes student projects on the artifacts of suburbia, oral histories, photo albums, articles on urban and local planning, a virtual slide show, and a list of related dissertations (none are available online).
Writing and Research Labs (CWRL),
University of Texas (UT) at Austin
Sponsored by the Division of Rhetoric and Composition at UT, the CWRL explores ways in which computer technology can enhance classroom instruction. The CWRL sponsors courses and conferences on computers and pedagogy, publishes an electronic journal and houses course materials and student projects from English and Writing classes at UT. Some of the projects explore computer technology issues, including censorship on the Web, cyborgs and artificial intelligence; others cover literary ground by providing hypertext extensions to texts, exploring literary theory and themes, or addressing specific authors or genres. In addition, some of the writing courses allow students to develop persuasive research-based web sites on contemporary issues such as gun control, capital punishment and funding for the arts. The English Department at UT was the first to develop a PhD program in Computers and English Studies, and the Division of Rhetoric and Composition expects that by 1999 85% of its undergraduate writing courses will be online.
for Advanced Technology in the Humanities (IATH),
University of Virginia
The University of Virginia’s IATH houses a collection of hypertext projects, a literary theory discussion group, the Web’s oldest electronic journal of literary criticism, _Postmodern Culture_, and a detailed index of further reading and Web links. The projects hosted by IATH include scholarly efforts in American history, religious studies, literary studies, linguistics, the history of technology, computer technology and urban planning.
History of American Landscape Architecture, University of Virginia
Designed in conjunction with a class at the University of Virginia, this site covers American landscape architecture from its early incarnation in the layout of Native American villages to its Twentieth century practitioners.
Viewing America From Your Web Site, University of Virginia
Produced in conjunction with a history course at the University of Virginia, this site follows a syllabus but also enables users to access an archive of historical documents according to their own schedules. A document of the week is featured. Users can interact with each other by means of E-mail connections.
Curatorial Issues in Contemporary Art, Virginia Institute of Technology
Part of the Virginia Tech Cyberschool program, this course combines actual class sessions with virtual methods of asynchronous distance learning to teach students about the thematic, spatial, and commentative curatorial issues in exhibitions of contemporary art. Students download one hundred preselected images and a set of wall elevations, research the artists they select for their exhibition, assemble and submit their exhibition to the group via a form on the Web site, and review each other’s exhibits over the Web (the posted exhibitions do not display images or wall elevations, but refer to them by labels).
Historical and Cultural Atlas Resource
This site is a compendium of maps and cultural images from Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and North America. Some maps use the Shockwave application so that users can obtain different information from pull down menus embedded in the image. This actually alters the face of the image to incorporate information on trade routes, climate and goods produced. Cultural images depict hundreds of artifacts, historical sites, vegetation and architecture. The images come in small and large file sizes to accommodate different machine capacities.
National Geographic Map Machine
This excellent resource features detailed maps of the continents; users can click on a specific country to call up an atlas entry for that country.
The Anacostia Museum
Operating under the auspices of the Smithsonian, the Anacostia Museum focuses on the Black experience in America, specifically on African-American history and culture in Washington, D.C. and in rural Southern areas. The museum has strong ties to its community; the Web site incorporates exhibits with information on its outreach program with a local elementary school. Exhibits explore issues of community, race and ethnicity, and focus on topics such as the role of the Black Churches from the time of slavery through Emancipation, Black inventors and the Juneteenth holiday. Black and white photographs included in the exhibits provide a valuable visual component of the history here presented.
California Museum of Photography
Online exhibits created especially for the Web explore how the use of audio, video, and graphic manipulation can enhance artistic performance and/or exhibition. The site’s projects include essays, photography, and interdisciplinary endeavors. Undergraduate students from UCR’s Department of Art maintain Web projects in partnership with the museum; in addition, the museum sponsors the "VidKids Media Literacy Program" for grades K-12. Classes create Web sites which utilize video and audio files to produce picture books, hypertext fiction, personal narratives, and historical projects.
The Cleveland Museum of Art
The museum archives past exhibits on the Web, providing images and curatorial labels as well glossaries of photographic and artistic terms, biographies of artists, maps, discussions about different types of art and at-home learning extension activities for several exhibits. The museum also supplies activities for teachers.
Franklin Institute Science Museum
The museum's site houses a library of online articles and journals related to science as well as numerous educational ideas and exhibits created specifically for the Web. Current exhibits include "The Heart: An Online Exploration" which uses text, images, and video files to present the development, structure, systemic relationships, and medical procedures connected with the heart. The museum's exhibit on Benjamin Franklin provides information on Franklin's family tree, his different roles and avocations, a glossary, a timeline, and related people and events. The exhibit "Guide to the Universe" includes astronomical and planetary science facts, a gallery of imaginary planets to explore, a form for submitting stories about the imaginary worlds pictured in the gallery and links out to science fiction on the Web. A "Spotlight" feature, designed for educators, takes existing information from a variety of sites elsewhere on the Web, combines them, and reconceptualizes them into curriculum units and virtual field trips.
The Guggenheim Museum
The Guggenheim’s site is both an archive of and an extension opportunity for past and present exhibits. Exhibits include images, biographies, links to curatorial commentary, and other ancillary materials. Current exhibits focus on Robert Rauschenberg, sculpture, photography and Abstraction.
The Mint Museum of Art
The museum has created a number of online exhibits which feature curator commentary and images from the Mint Museum's collection; particularly innovative exhibits explore the use of audio, video and animation technologies for artists. The museum has produced CD-ROM software on archaeology and Latin American history for children, which is previewed at the site using Shockwave Authorware. A special section for children called "Junior Mint" houses student works of art and text, educational facts and links for further education.
Museum of the City of New York (MCNY)
The MCNY site contains archived exhibits of architectural drawings of the 1939 World's Fair in New York and the work of Currier and Ives (including about 80 good quality images), among others. Each week MCNY posts a “bit” of New York history (usually an artwork and curatorial text) and archives the bits at the site. The National Portrait Gallery currently features online exhibits on Louis Armstrong, American musical theater, the U.S. in 1846 and the painters and poets of the 1950’s.
The National Gallery site features a different tour each week; users can access the collection by means of an author, title or subject search as well. Image quality is exceptional, and users have full screen and detail options when viewing the images.
National Museum of American History (NMAH)
The Smithsonian’s NMAH site offers a series of visually superior exhibits. Visitors to the exhibit of photographs from the 1896 Washington Salon scroll sideways through ten panels of images; the smaller images on the “wall” link to larger detailed images. A timeline provides image and text links to information on various historical and cultural events. Other exhibits focus on American wine production and the Animal Locomotion Studies of Eadweard Muybridge.