Internet Resources: February 2018 Edition

Selected reviews of digital reference resources from the February 2018 issue of Choice.

Amistad Research Center Digital Projects, from Tulane University.

[Visited Nov’17] For over 50 years, the Amistad Research Center at Tulane University in New Orleans has developed and housed archives that document the modern Civil Rights Movement. The Center’s dozen or so digital projects, hosted largely by the Tulane University Digital Library at, focus on America’s ethnic and racial history, the African diaspora, human relations, and civil rights. Highlights include over 3,000 digitized photographs from 1887 to 1952 of the American Missionary Association, documenting the lives of Americans and various ethnic groups in urban and rural communities domestically and abroad. The archive contains the raw footage and offers streaming video of the hour-long documentary film Black Natchez, which captures organizers’ attempts to register black voters in 1965. In addition, the NOLA Hiphop and Bounce Archive includes print and media ephemera, 50 photographic portraits, and over 60 video interviews with leading rappers, DJs, producers, and record store owners starting from the late 1980s; new interviews are added on an ongoing basis. Additional digital projects encompass streaming video documentaries, sound recordings, and digitized letters, documents, photographs, newspapers, posters, broadsides, pamphlets, and other printed ephemera.

The Amistad Research Center should be applauded for embracing digital initiatives that give a global audience of scholars open access to unique primary documents, images, and recordings that highlight pivotal people and moving moments in America’s ethnic and racial history. Its dedication to expanding access to these original materials is evidenced in the center’s embrace of multiple access models, both free and subscription-based. Some contents are showcased through arrangements with vendors such as Adam Matthew, which recently released the center’s holdings of the Race Relations Department at Fisk University in Race Relations in America: Surveys and Papers from the Amistad Research Center, 1943–1970 (CH, Oct’17, 55-0472). The materials described and freely available via the center’s website are suitable for all audiences, including community researchers and K-12 teachers. Summing Up: Recommended. All libraries. All levels. —D. Pan, University of Washington Libraries

The HistoryMakers Digital Archive. The HistoryMakers, 2017. Academic annual subscription ranges from a base of $2,000.00 for the smallest institutions to $5,000.00 per 10,000 FTE for larger institutions.

[Revisited Nov’17] Founded in 1999, The HistoryMakers organization at is a Chicago-based nonprofit educational program and developer of The HistoryMakers Digital Archive. The website’s banner proclaims its status as the “nation’s largest African American video oral history collection.” Since it was reviewed in 2011 (CH, Jul’11, 48-6486), the archive has increased significantly and continues to grow, with more than 120,000 stories from 2,250 African Americans at the time of review. More than a third of the participants are female, and most are unknown individuals whose stories, when woven together, present a holistic portrait of African American experiences in the 20th and 21st centuries. In 2014, the entire born-digital collection of 9,000 hours of video interviews was deposited for permanent preservation in the Library of Congress. The developers are transforming the freely accessible site at into a full-featured subscriber site, now in beta testing and due to be released in spring 2018.

The free and subscriber versions of the archive are organized differently, but both are easy to navigate. Interviews have been analyzed under searchable categories such as name, age, occupation, birthplace, education, career, and/or organization. Under the category “EducationMaker,” for example, one can find video interviews with 8 women and 11 men, including a 2003 interview (in segments, styled “stories”) with historian John Hope Franklin. The results under “ArtMaker” are much more extensive, yielding more than 200 individuals such as poet Maya Angelou (recorded in 2010 before her death in 2014) and dancer-choreographer Robert Battle. Each interview includes a highlighted transcript that keeps pace with the streaming video. The biography visible on the publicly accessible side includes the background of the interviewee, along with humanizing tidbits such as the individual’s favorite color or vacation spot. The video clips are all parsed into relatively short segments, most ranging from one to six minutes. A thread of 59 interview segments with educator-activist Lois Martin (born 1928) describes an encounter with the police in Boca Raton, Florida, that is riveting, although this reviewer found the significance (and contextualization) of the story underdeveloped in the telling. An extensive 2016 interview with historian and criminal justice expert Khalil Gibran Muhammad focuses on his studies of black criminality. Subscribers can find numerous other interviewees who discuss themes of police brutality by exploring the Topic Search section.

Students and undergraduates in a wide range of liberal arts fields, and more advanced scholars too, will find the full-featured version of The HistoryMakers Digital Archive very useful in researching African Americans’ lives and experiences—as long as they remember that these individual accounts can only be generalized with the usual cautions and in the context of other scholarly sources that provide a fuller treatment of African American cultural history. Summing Up: Highly recommended. High school students through researchers/faculty; general readers. —D. R. Jamieson, Ashland University

Independent World Cinema: Classic and Contemporary Film. Alexander Street, 2017. Contact publisher for pricing based on FTE.

[Visited Nov’17] Most of the films (at the time of review) in this collection of more than 400 high-definition, streaming, independent films from around the world are from the 1990s forward, though a minority are from earlier eras (the earliest, made in 1915, is After Death, a Russian drama). The films are all from the catalogs of six distributors: Milestone, Zeitgeist Films, Oscilloscope Pictures, Film Movement, Pragda, and ArtMattan Productions. Milestone specializes in restoring early American films, and its collection includes 18 films out of the 700 in the National Film Registry (associated with the Library of Congress). The other distributors feature films from beyond the US; Pragda offers films from Latin America and Spain, and ArtMattan focuses on films from Africa and the Caribbean. Some major works are the French WW II documentary The Sorrow and the Pity; two Alfred Hitchcock (French language) British propaganda films made in 1944 but not shown until the 1990s—Aventure Malgache and Bon Voyage; and the first animated feature film, the German fairy tale The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926), reconstructed by Milestone and released in 1991. Also found in this collection are many award winners, including the German film Nowhere in Africa, Academy Award winner for best foreign-language film (2001).

This collection is sold worldwide, but some distributors reserve access to many of the films by geographic area, making them available either in North America only or solely outside North America. Many of the films are documentaries (more than 150), over 200 are “performance,” and a surprising number (almost 50) are animation. Taken as a whole, the films support broad inquiry into the social sciences and humanities, including such areas as gender studies, film studies, psychology, anthropology, cultural history, theater, and African American studies.

The platform offers enriched value. One can browse by genre, discipline, title, or people. Scrolling written transcripts accompany the video, and this text is searchable. One can create a playlist, create video clips, annotate, and embed clips into lectures or learning-management sites. All of this searchability exists across Alexander Street’s entire inventory of film collections, and ideally, subscribing institutions would have access to many other collections, such as Asian Film Online (CH, Jul’15, 52-5768), Film Scripts Online (formerly American Film Scripts Online) (CH, Oct’08, 46-0775), New World Cinema: Independent Features and Shorts, 1990–Present, Silent Film Online (CH, Oct’14, 52-0594), and the voluminous Criterion Collection modules (from Janus Films). Licensing such largesse would be costly, certainly. Independent World Cinema alone, for a one-time purchase, ranges from approximately $15,000.00 for the smallest library to $32,000.00 for the biggest; annual subscriptions range similarly from $1,500.00 to $4,500.00 per year, although significant discounts are offered to consortia. Like all Alexander Street products, this one is of high quality and is recommended to all libraries, particularly academic libraries that support programs in the humanities and social sciences. Summing Up: Recommended. All libraries. All levels. —W. Miller, Florida Atlantic University

Open Parks Network, from Clemson University and the National Park Service.

[Visited Nov’17] Open Parks Network is a collaboration between the National Park Service (NPS) and Clemson University Libraries, with funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and scanning technology from the prodigious Internet Archive (CH, Jun’13, 50-5327). This ongoing project currently provides access to over 1.5 million pages of gray literature and more than 300,000 digitized and downloadable high-resolution images, most with no copyright restrictions. The website is made up of more than 80 collections describing approximately 20 national parks or protected NPS historic sites. At the time of review, parks represented are primarily in the eastern US (in proximity to Clemson), with Yellowstone National Park being the exception. The cultural heritage collections are as varied as the national parks and historic sites themselves. They contain a plethora of images and text that feature topics as varied as individuals, families, building plans, maintenance records, Civil War materials, shipwrecks, plant specimens, early town plans, historic workplaces, and much more.

One can easily query the database through the Explore tab, pointing to the search-and-browse functions, specific collections, and maps. To narrow one’s search, facets such as park, collection, creator, date, topic, location, and type (or multiple facets) can be chosen and updated, or reset to clear previous results. Users would do well to spend time exploring individual collections within the database to get a perspective on the diverse and valuable materials found within. From the Collections section, each is described, and all materials within collections are displayed. E.g., Fort Sumter National Monument leads to a collection of Civil War–era maps. All maps in this collection could be missed if the user conducted a simple search. Fully appreciating this site can take a bit of serendipitous browsing. However, the hidden gems and treasures found within the Open Parks Network are certainly worth the time to investigate and examine the complete database. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All libraries. All levels. —C. W. Bruns, California State University—Fullerton

SpeechBITE, from the University of Sydney.

[Visited Nov’17] Doing research in speech pathology is challenging because of the multidisciplinary nature of communication disorders. SpeechBITE, produced by the University of Sydney and Speech Pathology Australia, with additional organizational sponsors, is a free, web-based, indexing and abstracting database project. The contents include selected papers from peer-reviewed scientific journals that examine the effectiveness of interventions in communication and swallowing disorders. To be included, each paper must evaluate at least one intervention and include empirical data on treatment efficacy. The goal of SpeechBITE is to help clinicians and researchers who practice in these two areas find evidence-based information quickly and efficiently.

The resource, updated monthly, includes studies gleaned from eight databases: the National Library of Medicine’s MEDLINEElsevier’s Embase; CINAHL (CH, Mar’06, 43-3760); PsycINFO (CH, Aug’15, 52-6215); ERICAllied and Complementary Medicine Database, produced by the British Library; Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts (CH, Sup’03, 40Sup-0097); Evidence-Based Medicine Reviews; and Google Scholar. Although the oldest article dates from 1959, one finds very few items before 1990. Users may search the database by typing their terms into a simple search box. The Boolean operator AND is assumed unless searchers use quotes for phrase searching. The easiest way to refine a search is by adding keywords on the advanced search page, although there is also an option for using drop-down menus to limit by speech-pathology practice area, intervention type, population, age, and research design. This feature may help for a broad search on a topic. The age limiter would be more useful if adults were distinguished by middle age or geriatric categories, for example. Most entries have abstracts or a link to PubMed (CH, Sep’11, 49-0313). Systematic reviews are listed first, followed by randomized controlled trials. A unique feature is that studies are also rated according to the PEDro-P scale, an 11-item scale used to determine the external and internal validity of a clinical trial or group-comparison study.

Users can sign up to receive monthly updates on the newest references added to the database. Because the resource is freely accessible, librarians serving communication and audiology programs should highlight it within their guides and recommended databases. Although using this tool could potentially save users time by retrieving primarily research studies, practitioners and researchers who need background information, review articles, and qualitative studies will also want to use other tools, such as PubMed or PsycINFOSpeechBITE is an important supplementary, rather than essential, source for communication disorders. Summing Up: Recommended. Undergraduates through professionals/practitioners. —N. Kupferberg, Ohio State University

UN Climate Change Newsroom, from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

[Visited Nov’17] This dynamically changing website of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) offers a significant, reputable global perspective that is sorely needed, because validated information on climate change is rapidly being deleted from US federal government websites and repositories. With a relaunched site at to coincide with the November 23, 2017, Conference of the Parties (COP23) in Bonn (replacement of the older “white pages” format of the UN site is ongoing at the time of this review), visitors to the updated UN Climate Change Newsroom can find links to news updated multiple times a day, with information on far-reaching issues in climate science and the energy industry. Climate Action is one of four major categories of information, along with Paris Agreement, COP23 Bonn, and UNFCCC Process and Meetings sections. UNFCCC staff members write stories covering public policy, legislation, scientific research, international negotiations, and more. The interactive guide “Climate: Get the Big Picture” at introduces the UN’s “three major legal instruments”: the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (adopted in 1992, entered into force in 1994), the Kyoto Protocol (adopted 1997, in force 2005), and the Paris Agreement (adopted 2015, in force 2016).

The new site-search function is by simple keyword only, hampering its usefulness and making it impossible to find pertinent materials within old sections of this complex website (such as its original Press Headlines section, where one can use the more effective and simple UNFCCC Google Search, or link to an Official Documents advanced-search option). Sorting and filtering options are by date, category (i.e., site sections), or publication type (press release, statement, report, etc.). As expected when linking to open-access internet news sources, some links to articles are broken, other sources require creation of a free user account to access full-text content, and there are advertisements and pop-up messages to navigate. The UN Climate Change Newsroom functions well as an educational resource and current-awareness tool, rather than a systematically curated news archive. It is particularly useful for its broadly diverse outlook, in contrast to the sometimes insular view of US government websites. For comparative purposes, The Climate Change Newsroom of the US EPA as it existed on January 19, 2017 can be viewed at Researchers will further appreciate the scope of the problem entailed in dismantling and erasing public information by comparing the laudatory archival-preservation efforts by the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative (EDGI) at Other important documents of the UNFCC process are at Up: Highly recommended. All libraries. All levels. —A. S. Ricker, Oberlin College