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Useful History Web Sites


Here are some Web sites organized according to the topics of the courses that I teach here at De Anza.  If you find a Web site you think should be added to this list, email me with the site address and a short description.  Thanks! 

General U.S. History


History News Network, at http://HistoryNewsNetwork.org/, provides up-to-date commentary on issues of today as well as on historical topics.

Http://www.blackwellpublishers.co.uk/history/ is a super gateway to history sites on the Web from American to European to World history.  It is maintained by Blackwell Publishers. 

History Matters focuses on the U.S. History survey course on the Web.  It’s for teachers as well as students, and has links to other Web sites as well.  Surf to http://historymatters.gmu.edu/.

Http://www.tulane.edu/~lmiller/ArchivesResources.html is the site of Ready, Net, Go! Archival Internet Resources, a meta-index of archival resources all over the world that can be accessed via the web.

Http://lcWeb2.loc.gov/amhome.html is the Library of Congress’s American Memory project.  It is an expansive archive of American history and culture featuring photographs, prints, motion pictures, manuscripts, maps, and sound recordings going back to roughly 1490. Currently this site includes more than seven million digital items from more than 100 collections on subjects ranging from African-American political pamphlets to California folk music, from baseball to the Civil War. 

Http://www.earlyamerica.com contains primary source material from 18th Century America--all displayed digitally. A unique array of original newspapers, maps and writings are available for you to browse.  The archival materials are displayed in their original formats so they can be read and examined close-up

Http://jefferson.village.virginia.edu/vcdh/jamestown offers a virtual visit to 17th Century Jamestown.  It is an interactive site that includes maps and images, court records, labor contracts, public records, first hand accounts and letters, newspapers, and a wide variety of references.

Http://www.si.edu/lemelson/centerpieces/whole_cloth/u2ei/index.html takes you to a marvelous web site on the history of textile production in early 19th Century America, which the Lemelson Center at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History has developed.  Well worth a visit.

Ever wanted to know the rankings of U.S. presidents, who's overrated, who's underrated?  Visit http://www.opinionjournal.com/hail/ to see the latest rankings by historians, political scientists, and law professors.

The Roanoke Island Freedmen’s Colony, at http://www.roanokefreedmenscolony.com/, focuses on the experiences of freed African-Americans who settled toward the end of the Civil War on Roanoke Island.

Connecticut was a slave state. Does that sound wrong?  Does it feel wrong?  Well, it isn't.  Learn much more about slavery in New England at http://www.ctnow.com/news/local/northeast/hc-slavery.special.

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Technology and the Environment in American History

Envirotech is a special interest group focusing on “technology and nature.”  Its discussion on “Are animals technology?” is archived along with other items at its site: http://www.udel.edu/History/gpetrick/envirotech/Discussions.htm#Discussions.  Also look at Ed Russell's essay "An Anatomy of Organismal Technology."

Http://shot.jhu.edu/index.htm is the site of the Society for the History of Technology.  Links to its newsletter, special interest groups, its journal Technology and Culture and other publications, and other resources.

The American Society of Environmental History site is at http://www2.h-net.msu.edu/~environ/, with links to a variety of other resources.  Among them is a collection of bibliographies on topics such as Natural Disasters, Latin American Environment History, Forest and Conservation History, European Environmental History, and general American Environmental History, which is at http://www2.h-net.msu.edu/~environ/bibs/.

The journal Environmental History has a site at http://www.lib.duke.edu/forest/ehmain.html.

Ted Steinberg's essay, "Down to Earth: Nature, Agency, and Power in History," American Historical Review (June 2002) takes on the history profession by arguing that historians generally place nature in the background of human history, rarely recognizing how powerful nature is in human affairs.  I found his article powerful in its arguments, and I highly recommend it.  The essay and an online discussion between members of the American Historical Association held between September 2 and 23 is available at http://www.deanza.fhda.edu/faculty/williams/steinberg.html.

Http://www.nahste.ac.uk/, Navigational Aids for the History of Science, Technology and the Environment, is a project cataloguing archival collections and Web resources for the history of science, technology and the environment that is based in Edinburgh in the U.K.

Garden and Forest: A Journal of Horticulture, Landscape Art, and Forestry (1888-1897) was the first American journal devoted to horticulture, botany, landscape design and preservation, national and urban park development, scientific forestry, and the conservation of forest resources. It is a wonderful resource dealing with late-19th Century attitudes about people's relationship to nature.  The Library of Congress has produced a digital reproduction of all ten volumes, comprising 8,400 pages and over 1,000 photographs and other illustrations.  Surf to:  http://lcweb.loc.gov/preserv/prd/gardfor/gfhome.html.

One of the best history of technology museums in the country is the Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village, which has a site at http://www.hfmgv.org/.

For almost a quarter-century, Congress ran the Office of Technology Assessment.  All its publications and many other materials are at http://www.wws.princeton.edu/~ota/.

The Museum of Jurassic Technology, at http://www.mjt.org/, will test your ability to discern between fact and fantasy.  Is this a real museum, or is it a joke?  Check it out in person the next time you’re in L.A.

Professor Carolyn Merchant at U.C. Berkeley maintains an excellent and comprehensive Web site on environmental history covering general topics, the United States, California, and more -- all with links elsewhere.  Surf to http://www.CNR.Berkeley.EDU/departments/espm/env-hist/.

Water supply, sanitation, and plumbing history is a particularly interesting in terms of the human/nature connection.  The history of plumbing website http://www.plumbingsupply.com/pmtoilet.html, offers good information this topic, including the myth and reality of Thomas Crapper, who, despite popular views, did not invent the flush toilet

What to do with modern society's waste is a wide-ranging problem.  Josh Silverman, a historian at Carnegie-Mellon University, offers good insights in "Radioactive waste management: an environmental history lesson for engineers (and others)," which can be found at http://www.ce.cmu.edu/GreenDesign/edradiocase.html.

The Engines of Our Ingenuity is a radio program that tells the story of how culture is formed by human creativity. Written and hosted by John Lienhard, it is heard nationally on Public Radio and produced by KUHF-FM Houston.  Lienhard has produced over 1700 episodes, and the site is fully indexed and can be searched with keywords.  I highly recommend it: http://www.uh.edu/engines/engines.htm.

For Latin America, graduate students at Stanford University have created a great online bibliography.  Be sure to visit it by going to http://www.stanford.edu/group/LAEH/.

The Wooden Canoe Heritage Association offers an interesting look at efforts to save traditional transport techniques in North America.  Visit it at  http://www.wcha.org/

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California History

Right here on De Anza’s campus is a gem, the California History Center and Foundation in the Trianon Building, across the sunken garden from the Student Center.  Its Web site is http://www.calhistory.org/.

The California Council for the Promotion of History is at http://www.csus.edu/org/ccph/.

Http://www.californiahistoricalsociety.org/main.html is the site of the official state historical society.

California History Online is run by the California historical society and is an excellent site: http://www.californiahistory.net/.

The complexities of Los Angeles history are well worth exploring.  Phil Ethington at U.S.C. offers a great multimedia essay on the subject.  Surf your way to http://cwis.usc.edu/dept/LAS/history/historylab/LAPUHK/index.html.

The Oakland Museum’s California History collection is one of the best in the state.Visit its site at http://www.museumca.org/global/history/index.html

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