Internet Resources: December 2019 Edition

Selected reviews of digital reference resources from the December issue of Choice.

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American Antiquarian Society (AAS) Historical Periodicals Collection. EBSCO. Pricing is based on FTE.

American Antiquarian Society (AAS) Historical Periodicals Collection is best suited to higher educational institutions and dedicated historical researchers, wrote Jennifer S. Beach for ccAdvisor. The collection includes more than 8,400 American periodicals, in multiple languages, all digitized and searchable by keyword, between 1684 and 1912. The archive comes at a one-time price with a small annual access fee. Isaiah Thomas founded The American Antiquarian Society (AAS) in 1812. In 2009, the AAS contracted an exclusive deal with EBSCO to create the Historical Periodicals Collection. Subjects include advertising, agriculture, health, women’s issues, science, medicine, and the history of slavery. Due to the nature of searching historical primary sources, and to the vast variety of materials available, this source is best suited to colleges and researchers. “AASHPC’s content is comprehensive,” Beach wrote, “and it includes material unavailable in other digitized resources.” Historians and students will revel in the easy access to periodicals thought lost to time. “The only potential drawback to this format is the inability to sort periodicals by date within the database itself,” Beach wrote. Sorting by date allows users to browse periodicals from the same period and build a picture of life in America at that point in time. This lack of browsability limits the usefulness for novices who may lack the skills or knowledge necessary to develop effective keywords. To read the complete review, go to Summing Up: Recommended. General readers; lower-division undergraduates through faculty. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE

ASME Digital Collection. Contact publisher for pricing.

“Providing access to thousands of information formats, the ASME Digital Collection operates a full-service technical publishing operation,” wrote Jane C. Duffy for ccAdvisorASME Digital Collection is the American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ complete repository of current and archival literature for every specialization within the discipline of mechanical engineering. Searchable by free-text, traditional access points, topical collection, and controlled vocabulary, the site offers an integrated and reliable user experience for every level of the research process. Subscriptions may be negotiated on both institutional and consortial levels. The database currently includes approximately 30 journals, over 180 ebooks, and hundreds of conference proceedings. The intended audiences for this product are post-secondary students and faculty, industry practitioners, developers, and researchers. All contents are peer-reviewed to industry standard. It is the most current and comprehensive collection of mechanical and related engineering literature in the world. All content is curated, covering all mechanical engineering specializations. ASME Digital Collection is comprehensive in scope and includes transaction journals from 1960 to the present, conference proceedings from 2002 to the present, and ASME Press ebooks selected from 1984 to the present. To read the complete review, go to Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE

Harper’s Weekly: 1857–1912. Alexander Street Prices are for a one-time purchase of perpetual rights; consortial discounts are available.

Harper’s Weekly: 1857–1912 is an invaluable resource for students and researchers interested in studying developments in American political, social, and cultural history, wrote Sue Tyson for ccAdvisor. It provides fee-based access to all issues of the highly influential Harper’s Weekly newspaper from 1857 to 1912, as well as essays by scholars and educational websites. Users can search editorials and commentary, articles, illustrations, cartoons, advertisements, biographical sketches, travel narratives, fiction and poetry, maps, and portraits by searching full text by word or phrase. They can also search 3,500 synopses of fiction from 1857 to 1903. Users can “take advantage of the site’s major—and defining—feature: an extensive manual indexing by subject experts,” Tyson wrote. The database features “a thesaurus enabling topical searches of articles, editorials, illustrations, cartoons, and advertisements and searches of advertisements by manufacturer and retailer; cartoons by subject and character; literature by author, title, or genre; and much more.” Other boons include the site’s high-quality imaging, the capacity to download and print content, and the high degree of accuracy of the text, which has been double-keyed rather than simply OCR’d from the original microfilm. “Despite a few problems with navigation, primarily to free websites provided as contextual material, the site provides unique possibilities for discovery of the content of this invaluable periodical,” Tyson wrote. To read the complete review, go to Summing Up: Essential. All readership levels. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE

Open Library (Internet Archive).

“The Open Library (OL), a project of the Internet Archive, embraces the philosophical concept of ‘open to all’ in its most literal sense, providing free access to 20 million bibliographic records, 1.7 million scanned versions of books, and 200,000 ebooks for limited borrowing,” wrote Lizah Ismail for ccAdvisor. It is an ambitious project whose goal is to “provide a page on the web for every book ever published.” OL seeks to create an open catalog where 20 million bibliographic records and 1.7 million scanned versions of books are freely available to the public, as well as 200,000 available for anyone to borrow for a limited period, one copy at a time. It is also open in that any individual is able to edit and/or add to existing bibliographic records, be involved in the building of the site, and help develop applications that would enhance OL’s connection to other book sites. “Open to all” is a philosophical concept this site embraces in its most literal sense. Launched in November 2007 and funded in part by the California State Library and the Kahle/Austin Foundation (Brewster Kahle is the founder of the Internet Archive and the Open Library project), the site functions as both a digital lending library and a digital repository of books of all kinds. “These books represent a wide range of subject areas, in both fiction and not-fiction formats, including Art, Mysteries and Detective Fiction, Music, Plays, History, Recipes, and Biographies,” Ismail wrote. To read the complete review, go to Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE