Internet Resources: December 2020 Edition

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

Territorial Papers of the United States, 1764–1953. Readex, 2020.

dataplanet. SAGE Publishing, 2019. contact publisher for pricing.

“[D]ataplanet is a repository of over 157 billion data points and 12.6 billion updated datasets” from SAGE Publishing that “aggregate[s] data from disparate but authoritative public, private, and commercial sources,” wrote Caroline Geck for ccAdvisor. The site, which will be especially valuable to subscribers in academia, business, and policy making, compiles data from over 500 sources and 80 data providers, and Sage plans to increase the content by 20 percent each year. This data is categorized under 16 topical areas, such as “Agriculture & Food,” “Education,” and “Government & Politics,” among others, and is presented in a homogeneous library that is enhanced by features such as its 37 metadata fields, which assist with organization and searchability. To access this information, Geck noted that “subscribers have a choice of two powerful interfaces available from two separate Web platforms.” These are Data Planet Statistical Ready Reference, “designed for quick look-ups and rankings of single variable data,” and Data Planet Statistical Datasets, which “is intended to enable individuals to compare and contrast multiple variables and analyze and interpret the data using visualization, statistical, and computational tools,” as Geck detailed. The database’s Libguides are particularly helpful for exploring the content, with hyperlinks to key interfaces and content.

One drawback that Geck identified, however, is that “many datasets … have not been updated in 2020,” and in many cases are several years old, “indicating only limited editorial attention.” Still, though, she contended that “dataplanet’s invaluable archived content and features enable individuals, especially academic library audiences in the [US], to conduct advanced analyses of historical data quickly and effectively.” Additionally, according to the site’s own comparison table, dataplanet offers equal or superior capabilities when measured against its four major competitors: StatisticaProQuest International DatasetsProQuest Statistical Insight, and ProQuest Statistical Abstract. Summing Up: Essential. Graduate students, faculty, and professionals.

This review is a summary of a longer review by Caroline Geck, independent scholar, originally published in ccAdvisor.orgCopyright © 2020 by The Charleston Company.—Abstracted from, ccAdvisor

The Global Jukebox. The Association for Cultural Equity, 2020. Contact publisher for pricing.

The Global Jukebox (GJ) is an ambitious project initiated by the Association for Cultural Equity at New York’s Hunter College,” with a mission “to make available the extensive audio field recordings, pictures, and films studied by the legendary ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax and his colleagues,” wrote Warren Bareiss and Lizah Ismail for ccAdvisor. Lomax famously theorized that songs demonstrate interrelationships among cultures, and the database certainly reflects this “as visitors are invited to trace patterns among songs from location to location and culture to culture across the maps.” As Bareiss and Ismail elaborated, “each song and dance link is accompanied by ‘cantometric’ or ‘choreometric’ coding data,” which conveys pertinent information about each song, including its genre, language, instrumentation, number of performers, and location and date of recording, among other details. The easiest way to access and explore this content is via the central menu box on the homepage, which includes links to 10 content areas, such as the “Culture Wheel” and “Explore the Map” functions.

Bareiss and Ismail contended that “[GJ] has laudable goals in documenting, preserving, and making available a plethora of songs and dances from the past,” many “of which would have been lost forever had it not been for Lomax and his colleagues.” However, they also noted a woeful lack of “contextual information about artists, their lives, and the role of the songs in the places where they were performed,” as well as some navigability issues, likely owing to the fact that the site is still in its beta version. Potential alternatives include Smithsonian Folkways Recordings from the Smithsonian Institute, Ethnomusicology Global Field Recordings from Adam Matthew Digital (CH, Jun’20, 57-3168), and the freely available Ethnomusicology Archive from UCLA. Summing Up: Optional. General readers through faculty.

This review is a summary of a longer review by Warren (“Wren”) Bareiss, University of South Carolina Upstate, and Lizah Ismail, A.J. Eastwood Library, Limestone College, originally published in ccAdvisor.orgCopyright © 2020 by The Charleston Company.—Abstracted from, ccAdvisor

Poverty, Philanthropy and Social Conditions in Victorian Britain. Adam Matthew, 2020. Contact publisher for pricing.

Poverty, Philanthropy and Social Conditions in Victorian Britain (PPSCVB) “comprises primary digital materials” from the National Archives at Kew, the British Library, and the Senate House Library that “[focus] on the experience of poverty in Victorian Britain and efforts involving economic, governmental, and social reform,” wrote Dawn Behrend for ccAdvisor. Covering the period 1800 to 1900, with supporting items ranging from 1678 to 1937, PPSCVB will appeal to scholars and educators of the historical, sociological, and political aspects of poverty in Britain.

Content is organized in 10 overarching themes, covering topics including the Poor Laws, workhouses, settlement houses, education, welfare reform, government policy, medicine, and philanthropic efforts of the period, and encompasses formats ranging “correspondence, articles from contemporary periodicals, newspaper clippings, reports, registers, books, and pamphlets.” Currently there are 3,385 items, which “users can explore [through] a directory of topics located via A to Z keywords, people, county names, or names of settlement houses and charitable institutions,” noted Behrend. 

PPSCVB offers “clear, searchable digital documents and images in a clean, visually appealing, user-friendly interface,” making it a distinctive tool for accessing unique primary sources. However, its highly specialized focus and relatively small collection size may also limit its adoptability. Moreover, its handwritten text recognition (HTR) capability, touted as a value-added technology, applies to just over 3 percent of this product’s holdings. As Behrend pointed out, “users may find this [product] less appealing than JSTOR’s 19th Century British Pamphlets, which offers seven times the similar content and a wider range of contributing institutions.” Libraries may also be interested in perusing the free alternatives, The Victorian Web and Victorian Research Web, as well as EBSCO’s Historical Abstracts. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty.

This review is a summary of a longer review by Dawn Behrend, Lenoir-Rhyne University, originally published in ccAdvisor.orgCopyright © 2020 by The Charleston Company.—Abstracted from, ccAdvisor

Territorial Papers of the United States, 1764–1953. Readex, 2020. Contact publisher for pricing.

With primary source documents from the “National Archives and Records Administration [NARA] and the official records of the Departments of State and the Interior,” Territorial Papers of the United States, 1764–1953 offers “the official history of the states’ formative territorial years,” as Lisa Karen Miller wrote for ccAdvisor. Documents, many of which are handwritten, “include official correspondence with Washington, Native American negotiations and treaties, military records, judicial proceedings, population data, financial statistics, land records, and more,” making this an excellent resource for students and scholars of American history, frontier studies, Colonial studies, and Native American history. Importantly, the documents reflect official governmental viewpoints and not those of native peoples, as Miller highlighted.

Published by Readex, the site offers all typical basic search and sort options as well as numerous advanced search options. Miller elaborated that users “may search the collection as a whole or by individual series,” though “a clear delineation among series would be helpful on the initial search screen.” She further noted that “because documents come from the National Archives and Records Administration, users may [even] search by NARA Microfilm Number, NARA Roll Number, NARA Document Number, or NARA Record Group Number, if known.” One important consideration that Miller draws attention to is the fact that many of the handwritten documents are not always easy to decipher. Transcripts (or even a transcription on demand service) would enhance the usability of these documents considerably, though this function is not currently available.

Complementary material can be found through four alternative Adam Matthew products: American WestFrontier LifeAmerican History – 1493–1945, and American Indian Histories and Cultures. However, it is difficult to pin down a direct competitor to Territorial Papers, as this site uniquely compiles the available resources. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty.

This review is a summary of a longer review by Lisa Karen Miller, freelance reviewer, originally published in ccAdvisor.orgCopyright © 2020 by The Charleston Company.–Abstracted from, ccAdvisor