'Aestimatio: Critical Reviews in the History of Science' is a full-text ejournal, published by the Institute for Research in Classical Philosophy and Science in the U.S.A. Book reviews are freely available for download, as either colour or black & white PDF files. At June 2009 there are five volumes freely available, from 2004 to 2008, with all reviews written in English. Recently reviewed books include: 'Following Pausanias: The Quest for Greek Antiquity'; 'Through a Glass Darkly: Magic, Dreams and Prophecy in Ancient Egypt'; 'Harmonious Triads: Physicists, Musicians, and Instrument Makers in Nineteenth-Century Germany'; and 'The Symbol at Your Door: Number and Geometry in Religious Architecture in the Greek and Latin Middle Ages', among others. Most books reviewed appear to be in English, but there are also a few written in other languages, such as 'Naturwissenschaften im Kulturvergleich: Europa-Islam-China'. Text may not be copied and pasted from the PDFs. This will be a useful journal for those seeking to keep pace with new books in the history of science and technology.
'The Atlas of Cyberspace' (2001) was an influential book examining the ways in which the internet and networked systems had been visualised between 1970 and 2000. The book... "contained 300 full colour images [which] comprehensively catalogues 30 years". The book is now freely available online under a Creative Commons licence, in PDF format. There is a high-resolution version available, which is 228Mb in size. Individual chapters can also be downloaded. This book will be of interest to those examining the history of the emergence of the networked society, and may also be of interest to graphic designers involved in infographics and new forms of complex data visualisation of terascale datasets.
This is the main page of the BBC History website's section on the Victorians. The site offers an overview of the period 1837 to 1901, plus a range of articles on topics such as: Queen Victoria and her Prime Ministers; politics and events; the industrial revolution; daily life; and welfare and health. These are supplemented by image galleries, animations, and interactive learning activities. Links to other relevant Web resources are also provided: a short list is given at the bottom of the main page, with longer selections alongside individual articles within the section. This resource is perhaps best suited to those wanting a general overview of the subject (new undergraduates, for example, or those teaching introductory courses), although some sections do contain articles by eminent scholars. The site is attractively presented and easy to use.
This BBC website, "The workshop of the world", has been authored by Professor Pat Hudson of Cardiff University. It explores the domination over world trade attained by British manufactured goods over a few decades during the 19th century. The information is presented in the form of an essay, which can be printed off easily. Professor Hudson examines the commercial, financial and political power that enabled Britain to crush competition both at home and abroad. This also drove technological and production changes which in turn led to productivity growth of epic proportions. This essay provides an excellent introduction to the subject, and can be used as a basic text. Topics addressed include: the transformation of the economy; the mixed nature of industrialisation; new consumers; the Victorian boom and the Great Exhibition; and gentlemanly capitalism. There is also a list of sources for further reading. The BBC page, as usual, links to other relevant pages within the BBC website which may be useful to the reader.
The "Victorian Britain" is a BBC website about Victorian social history. The information featured on the site is arranged under six headings: Industry and Invention; Earning a Living; Social Conditions; The State, Education and Health; Women at Home; and Women Out and About. Under each section are two printable articles (one informative and one dealing with methodologies and sources), one interactive activity and one quiz. The articles are written by academics so are of a high standard and the quizzes act as useful revision aids. The site is well illustrated, very well laid out and exciting to use.
This is the website of the North of England's largest local history museum, at Beamish, County Durham. In particular the museum recreates how the people of the North of England lived and worked in the nineteenth and twentieth century. The excellent information for the general visitor and the educator describes, with images, the attraction of this open-air experience of living history. The museum concentrates specifically on two periods: 1825, when the region was rural and thinly populated. The industrial revolution, especially the coming of the railways, accelerated change (the reconstructed buildings and attractions include a wagonway, railway and manor); and 1913, by which time the region's heavy industries were at their peak, (that includes a colliery, a railway station, the town, a tramway, as well as a farm and other exhibitions).
This website describes an AHRC-funded research project assessing “the rise of spiritualism in contemporary technological culture through the lens of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries”. The project will consider the historical and contemporary relationship between spiritualism, technology and culture, exploring the potential of spiritualism to “be witness of” a particular time. To this end the project intends to develop a network between the University of Westminister’s English and Photography department; other academics with literary, cultural, historical and political interests; visual artists and curators; archivists and specialists in the field (through partnering the Society for Psychical Research). The website gives further details about the project’s intended activities, including a seminar programme in 2008/2009.
The "Big & Bouncy" website brings together much of the academic and enthusiasts research with photographs and illustrations to tell the story of the "bouncing" bomb developed by Sir Barnes Wallis during the Second World War. This was used by the specially-formed 617 Squadron of the RAF to destroy the Möhne and Eder dams in Germany's Ruhr district in May 1943. Barnes Wallis was a scientist and engineer, working mostly for Vickers aircraft, who earlier in his career worked on the R.100 airship. Wallis later went on to design the 6-ton Tallboy and 10-ton Grand Slam earthquake bombs (which were used successfully against many enemy targets in the later years of World War 2) and after the war developed the practicalities of swing-wing aircraft. As well as the special weapons developed by Wallis this website includes information about the Vickers Windsor bomber aircraft. The author's sources are cited here, and there are links to websites on similar subjects.
The excellent website of the Bill Douglas Centre for the History of Cinema and Popular Culture provides information on the academic research centre and its museum. The Centre houses one of the UK's largest collections of books, prints, artefacts and ephemera, collected by Bill Douglas and Peter Jewell. These depict the history of the cinema illustrating the development of 'optical recreation' and popular entertainment from the late 18th century to the present day. The centre also encompasses what it calls the "pre-history" of cinema, boasting a copy of Athanasius Kircher's "Ars Magna Lucis et Ombrae" of 1671, the first book to illustrate the magic lantern. There is a teaching and learning section, a searchable database of the collections, and further information about the onsite museum. An excellent section on further reading recommends the best publications on cinema and related themes. The website hosts virtual exhibitions and provides information about forthcoming events. The Teaching and Learning section includes information on degree courses, research opportunities and resources for schools for Key Stages 1 to 3. Worksheets are provided and the Centre can be used as a part of science projects, and 19th- and 20th-century history. The Centre's EVE online catalogue and virtual exhibition space received funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and is preserved at AHDS Performing Arts.
This website documents the extensive Brunel collections held at the University of Bristol. Covering three generations of the famous civil engineers, the focus is naturally on Isambard Kingdom Brunel, but these holdings are supplemented by papers relating to his father Marc and son Henry Marc. Holdings are listed at item level and range from correspondence through calculations, accounts and diaries to working drawings. Many IK Brunel’s major projects are well represented by material from the Clifton Suspension bridge to the experimental atmospheric railway. As well as outlining access arrangements, the website includes a brief history of the collection itself and a chronology of the lives of the Brunels.
Created for the 200th anniversary of Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s birth, in 2006 this website acted as a focus for a significant festival celebrating the achievements of this important Victorian engineer. Still live, the website now provides a document of the events that happened, as well as a useful introduction into Brunel’s life and career and surviving relics and locations associated with him. There is also a selection of Brunel-related images, copyright cleared for personal and educational use. As part of the preparations for the event, the website also includes a Word document which surveys the potential for a festival, and incidentally includes a detailed survey of Brunel-related buildings, structures, archives and sites of interest across the South West of England.
The website of the Centre for the History of Defence Electronics, History of Technology Research Unit, University of Bournemouth introduces the activities and scope of this research department. The research focuses on the work of their Oral History Research Unit, which aims to explore new ways of understanding technological change through oral history and to use the Internet in presenting the history of technology in the virtual museum environment. Currently, archive material available on the website relates mainly to radar and radio communications during the Second World War, also prisoner of war radios. You can listen to extracts from some of the interviews, some with a transcript, most with at least a summary of the key points to accompany the sound clips. There are also oral history presentations for the 'Talking About Technology' project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, working with the University of the Third Age, which relate to local history - iron and steel, shipbuilding, building conservation - in Melton Mowbray, Basildon, Billericay, Wokingham, and Stamford. The creators of the site have ceased to add new materials or to expand their projects but the site still remains live to provide access to its archives.
"Cracking Dams" is a website designed for the American K-12 curriculum to assist in the teaching of fracture mechanics and concrete dams using interactive multimedia. This site supports the teaching of the science and social aspects of the failure of a dam structure. However, the site illustrates the science behind cracking dams with some clips from "The Dam Busters" feature film, 1953. Therefore, it may be of interest to those teaching the development of the weapons used to destroy the Möhne and Eder dams in Germany's Ruhr district in May 1943 during the Second World War. The postgraduate thesis behind this project is linked to from this page.
The website "Croness Pumping Station" is published by the Crossness Engines Trust, and is part of the National Grid for Learning. The site covers the history of the Crossness Pumping station, built in 1865 by Joseph Bazalgette as part of London's new drainage system. There is a sizeable section on the pumping station's history, taken from Ian G. Hampson's 'A popular history of Crossness'. This covers the building and it's engines, as well as including a biography of Joseph Bazalgette, and information on the state of London's sanitation and public health in the Victorian age. There is also information about the Trust and it's work to restore Crossness since the 1980s.
The website 'Crystal Palace' focuses on three men who were largely responsible for the Great Exhibition of 1851 in the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park: Henry Cole, Joseph Paxton, and Prince Albert. The site was designed by the McGill University School of Architecture Minimum Cost Housing Group. Henry Cole was a poly-dexterous man, with varying interests in the arts. There are images of Messrs Minton tea seats he designed. In 1847 he was elected as president of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacturers, and Commerce. With the support of Prince Albert, the Royal Society developed the idea of a World's Fair, and when Joseph Paxton submitted his design for the exhibition centre, the three choreographed one of the largest events that occurred in London during the Victorian period. This website outlines the development of the fair, and provides complementary images of sketches of 'Paxton's Palace', commentaries by "Punch", and plans and photos of proposed Industrial class housing for those that manufactured the goods displayed in the Great Exhibition.
This website, published by The National Archives, looks at the Dambusters raid that took place during the Second World War. The site covers the development of the ideas behind the raid, the Barnes Wallis's designs that allowed the production of 'bouncing bombs', enabling the Royal Air Force to attack German dams, and the creation of a new elite unit, 617 Squadron, headed by Wing Commander Guy Gibson. It also covers the May 1943 mission, Operation Chastise, in which 617 Squadron bombed the Mohne, Eder, and Sorpe dams, and assesses the effect the raids had on the German war effort. Alongside the narrative the Dambusters site offers excellent primary sources in facsimile form. These include examples of Wallis's designs, correspondence about the mission, 617 Squadron's Operational Record Book, photographs of the targets, German records of the impact of the raids, video footage of bombing trials and Guy Gibson.
Delia Derbyshire was a British pioneer of electronic music, most notable for her work for the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and the co-authoring of the famous Doctor Who theme with Ron Grainer. This official 2008 website contains a wealth of information about Derbyshire's life and music. There is a short biography, a history of Unit Delta Plus, details of album and track re-releases, a discography, and eight music clips with annotation. This website provides a useful and authorised introduction to an important figure in the evolution of 20th century British music.
This is the website of a major five-year Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) research project, begun in October 2008. The project will examine the visual manifestations of the ways in which "...astronomy was transformed in the early-modern period through the invention of new instruments and techniques of observation, the introduction of new world systems and the integration of mathematical astronomy with natural philosophy". At May 2009 the website has details of the project team, and an extensive bibliography which has been usefully divided into themed sub-sections.
'DIO: The International Journal of Scientific History' is a full-text ejournal, edited from Florida State University. The editors are inclined to accept articles by... "astrononomers, physicists, mathematicians, & classicists - not historians". Published three times a year, at June 2009 the journal has 27 issues online. Issues usually offer between two and six articles, freely available as PDF files. Example article titles include: 'The Babylonian Theory of the Planets'; 'The Southern Limit of the Ancient Star Catalog'; 'The Instuments Used by Hipparchos'; and 'Columbus's Landfall at Plana Keys', among others. The journal occasionaly collaborates with the The Journal for Hysterical Astronomy on special issues and articles on historical scientific hoaxes. The journal appears to have a special interest in papers on Hipparchos, ancient planetary observations, the maps of Ptolemy, and the early exploration of the polar regions. Three $1000 prizes are offered by the journal.
This website provides information on the Dittrick Medical History Center (Cleveland, Ohio) and its collections of 60,000 rare books, 60,000 museum artifacts, 10,000 images, and archive listings. Originally part of the Cleveland Medical Library Association (est. 1894), the Dittrick is now an interdisciplinary centre within the College of Arts and Sciences of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. It is an international resource for the study of the history of medical technology, and provides research material for the study of speciality areas and local and international medical institutions. The site has six main sections: the Dittrick Museum of Medical History which consists mainly of a collection of instruments gathered from Cleveland physicians dating from 19th and 20th centuries; the rare medical book collection dating from late 14th century to 20th century; a section featuring 4 small online exhibits (Cleveland's smallpox epidemic of 1902; Images of dissection; a tour of Lake View Cemetery, Cleveland; and Asklepios Murals at the Allen Memorial Library); sample lists and overviews of the centre's archives; the image collection; and a What's New? section. Each section provides a very small sample of the collections housed at the center through the use of online images accompanied by brief background essays. There are also pages listing the Centre's publications, events and links to medical museums, archives and libraries both in the USA and worldwide. This site is regularly updated and includes news of forthcoming events and publications.
The Documentaries on Modern International Conflict (DOMIC) project provides detailed descriptions of the research archives for ten TV documentary series. The collections are held by the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, King's College London. The collections deal with Vietnam, the Falklands War, the Gulf Wars, the Cold War, the Arab-Israeli Wars, conflict in the former Yugoslavia, chemical and biological testing and the development of nuclear technology and its impact on international relations and defence policies.In total, the collections cover 92,000 separate items. Collection descriptions are comprehensive and thorough, although individual items are described only briefly. A search engine is provided within each collection (but not on the main page).As well as being of obvious application to studies dealing with international politics, peacekeeping, ethnicity, and technology, the project's authors hope the archives will also prove useful to media researchers and those interested in interview techniques. Modern military historians should find plenty of interesting sources amongst the archived materials.The DOMIC project received funding from the Research Support Libraries Programme (RSLP).
'Dreams of space' is a large free online 'image bank' of illustrations and paintings. The images illustrate how future and actual space travel was imagined, with most of the material being book illustrations that date from 1883 until 1974, 1974 being the year when there was little possibility of future manned moon landings continuing. The bulk of the collection is focussed on illustrations taken from children's books. The collection also covers some non-English European books on the subject. Most images are of small to medium size. There is a short directory of artists and illustrators, and a basic listing of authors and editors. The website republishes a short section from the 1978 book Space Art, titled 'The Archeology of Space Art'. The website appears to be a personal website created by John Sisson of the Science Library at the University of California at Irvine.
This website - part of the Capturing the Energy Project, to document the history of UK oil and gas exploration in the North Sea – gives a history of the Frigg gas field. Named after a Norse fertility goddess, the field was discovered in 1971, in UK and Norwegian sectors of the sea, and developed shortly after. The website provides a timeline of the field’s development, illustrations and a description of the field. More usefully, this resource offers a starting point for those interested in this particular aspect of industrial heritage. A history perhaps more celebrated elsewhere in the world, the research involves collaboration with similar projects in Norway and is based around a consortium of leading oil companies with the University of Aberdeen forming the hub of the project.
James Helyar has curated this online exhibition on the ‘Great Exhibition of Industry of All Nations, 1851’ for the Kenneth Spencer Research Library at the University of Kansas. The Great Exhibition of 1851 in many ways symbolises the British Empire at its peak during the Victorian period. The collection of exhibits from colonies and countries around the world in direct comparison to the excellence of British technology and industrialism was held in what many saw as a fairytale castle, namely the Crystal Palace. Illustrated by items in the Kenneth Spencer Research Library collection, this website includes numerous images of the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park and the exhibits and events during the first World's Fair in London. There are quotes from Pugin, Paxton (the architect who designed the grand greenhouse), and plates from various published catalogues during the fair. As well as information about the exhibits and the Crystal Palace, there is a biography on Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's consort, who was largely responsible for the Great Exhibition, heading the Royal Council in charge of the event. This is an excellent resource for images and primary sources on the Great Exhibition of 1851.
This is the website of the Center for Cooperative Research - a research institute devoted to the study and facilitation of revolutionary historical change. The philosophy of the centre is that neither individuals nor ideas shape history, but technologies and economic systems. Analysis of the War on Terrorism is particularly strongly represented on the site. The background to the attack on World Trade Center and its consequences - including information about US Government support for Bin Laden, the Taliban, and Iraq's biological weapons programme - is painstakingly examined. Each detail is backed up by a short introductory essay, fact-sheets (in a number of formats, time-lines, comprehensive chronologies, newspaper and magazine articles, government press releases, interviews etc.
The Web page is part of the Ordnance Survey website, and it gives free access to two full-text ebooks on the history of the Ordnance Survey. The first is the 400-page 'A History of the Ordnance Survey' (1980) edited by W.A. Seymour and J.H. Andrews - a book that in print form currently sells for £200 on Amazon UK. The second is the 288-page 'Ordnance Survey: Map Makers to Britain since 1791' (1992) by Tim Owen and Elaine Pilbeam. The books are presented for reading online using Flash flip-book software, but those loading this software in their Web browser will find that it also offers a menu icon for downloading each book as a PDF file. These free books will be of interest to those interested in the history of map-making, map design, mapping technologies, the publishing industry, the role of maps in the history of British tourism, the intertwining of landscape and history in visual form, the British development of infographics and spatial concepts, and much more. The Web page also contains a concise 1,600-word overview of the history of the Ordnance Survey.
As part of the website for Expo2000, the website "History of World Exhibitions" is a resource on the history of international exhibitions. Clicking on each year listed provides more detailed information on each of the earlier exhibitions, beginning with the first international event, the Great Exhibition of 1851, and then continuing with those held in Paris, Vienna, Philadelphia, Chicago, Saint Louis, Barcelona, Brussels, Seattle, Montreal, Osaka, Seville, Lisbon and finishing with the 2000 exhibition held in Hanover. Each of these exhibitions has sections featuring: facts and figures; antecedents; concept; background; architecture; comments,;bibliography; and other relevant material. Each part is illustrated with contemporary illustrations. This site is available in both English and German, and is part of the website for the Hanover 2000 Expo.
The website "HMB Endeavour replica" hosted by the Australian National Maritime Museum gives the latest news and information about the 'Endeavour', a replica of the ship in which Captain James Cook made his first voyage to Oceania. The ship has been described by the National Maritime Museum, Greenwic, as the world's best replica of an 18th century ship. She has sailed from Australia to Britain in several voyages and is very much a functioning vessel as well as a floating tourist attraction. The Captain's and crewmembers' reports may be read at the site, along with the charts of recent voyages. Information about refits and repairs is also included. There is also a section of the site devoted to the history of the project, and information for those who wish to sail the Endeavour, or assist with her maintenance. The history of the original ship, its specifications, the aim of its voyaged to the South Seas and more resources on Captain Cook's missions are also offered on the site.
'HOST: journal of history of science and technology' is a full-text ejournal, which aims to explore... "the cultural and social dimensions of science and technology in history across the world". It is published in English - jointly by the University of Lisbon, the University of Evora, and the New University of Lisbon. At January 2009 there are two issues online, offering articles and book reviews in HTML format. Example article titles are: 'The Emergence of Early Modern Commons: Technology, Heritage and Enlightenment'; 'What Can Local Circulation Explain? The Case of Helmholtz’s Frog-Drawing-Machine in Berlin'; and 'Bringing it all back home: Portuguese engineers and their travels of learning (1850-1900)', among others. The website has details of the editors, Editorial Board, Advisory Board, and the submissions process. There is an RSS feed.
"The Imperial War Museum's Collections" website provides access to a searchable catalogue of around 60,000 of the museum's records. Listed is material from a range of the Imperial War Museum's holdings, including film and video, sound recordings and oral history, documents, art, exhibits, books and printed material, photographs, aircraft, vehicles and aero engines. As well as being searchable, the catalogue can also be browsed in one of nine separate sections, each dealing with a different aspect of the history of warfare. The categories are War and Land, War and Sea, War in the Air, War and Peace, Prisoners, Civilians, Commonwealth, Truth and Propaganda, and Burial and Remembrance. Each section includes a short topic overview, tracing the history of each theme, and a selection of collection highlights taken from the catalogue. These highlights include images, audio files and documents, some of which can be accessed online. Excellent help and troubleshooting pages are provided, as well as different methods to navigate the collections. Desired items from the collections are collected by the user in a virtual list, for which an appointment can be requested for viewing at the Museum. Items from the IWM collections can be also be ordered for purchasing through the website.
This outstanding website features online exhibitions published by the Imperial War Museum. Each exhibition deals with an aspect of warfare, and the topics range from the First and Second World Wars to the Greenham Common protests during the Cold War. The twenty-one exhibitions all deal with twentieth century wars and campaigns that have had British involvement. Included are exhibitions on war artists Edward Ardizzone, H.S. Williamson and Mervyn Peake, a display about the British home front during the Second World War, Enigma and code-breaking, and Christmas during war years, as well as exhibitions on conflicts such as the Korean War, the Spanish Civil war, the Battle of Jutland, the campaign in Burma 1942-1945, the Falklands and Pearl Harbour. All of the exhibitions incorporate primary source material held at the museum, and make particular use of audio files, photographs and documents.
This is the website of The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust (Shropshire), among the best UK Outdoor Attractions chosen by the Which? Guide, and The Family Attraction of the Year in the 2003 Good Britain Guide, that describes the reconstructed Victorian village at Blists Hill as "the undoubted highlight" of "the best open-air museum of its kind". This Gorge of the River Severn is a UNESCO World Heritage Site - a testament to the area's heritage but also the work of the trust to conserve, manage and interpret its history. It is an area likened to the "Silicon Valley of the Industrial Revolution" - the site of the first cast-iron bridge built in 1779 by the grandson of the first Abraham Darby, who had made the vital breakthrough of successfully smelting iron with coke. The website provides visitor and collections information about the museums including: The Iron Bridge and Tollhouse; Blists Hill Victorian Town; Iron and Darby Furnace; the Darby Houses; the Gorge; Coalport china; Jackfield Tiles; Broseley Pipeworks; and Clay tobacco pipes. The Ironbridge Institute, linked to from this website, is a partnership between the University of Birmingham and the Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust, building on their experience of Heritage Management to provide taught postgraduate courses in Heritage Management and Industrial archaeology. Online, to assist teachers linking their classroom work with their visit to the museums, a series of educational resources are provided by the Ironbridge Gorge Museum's Education Department, for teachers of Key Stages 1, 2 and 3 studying History, Art and Design, Science, Design and Technology and Citizenship are provided online. They include some focussing on the Victorians, family history, local history, social history, for example, and many relating to Coalport china.
This website describes the Foyle Special Collections Library at Kings College London. Built up over centuries, the library contains some 150,000 items and is particularly strong in the fields of the history of science and medicine, travel and exploration, the history of Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean, the British Empire and 20th century German and Jewish studies. The website describes the collection in detail, and provides 'canned searches' of items within the university's library catalogue.
This wide-ranging and attractively produced website, 'Underwater archeology', available in French, English and Arabic, provides an illustrated introduction to the history, methods and major discoveries of underwater explorers, particularly those carried out by the research teams of DRASSM, the Départment des recherches archéologiques subaquatics et sous-marines of the French Ministry of Culture. Underwater archaeology has had a long, though sporadic, history, from the time Roman divers salvaged the cargo of amphoras from a shipwreck in the first century BC to the development of the modern aqualung by Cousteau and Gagnan in 1943. The resource features: a historical chronicle of major developments in maritime archaeology particularly since the designs of Leonardo da Vinci followed by the practical attempts to construct artificial breathing apparatus in the 17th century; an outline of the principal methods of underwater prospection and excavation of wrecks together with notes about the conservation of submerged organic materials; a major survey of shipwrecks around the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts of France (a sample of some 700 known) in addition to others sites in Malta, Gabon, Martinique and the Indian Ocean; an account of underwater archaeology in Egypt, in particular the spectacular rediscovery of the submerged parts of Alexandria and of the numerous Greek and Roman wrecks off the Egyptian coast. This notable didactic resource will benefit and improve both amateurs and professionals alike, especially undergraduate students of Mediterranean archaeology and history but also anyone interested in wider issues of world archaeology, trade routes, conservation of underwater finds and heritage issues related to shipwreck sites.
This website, part of the BBC Science & Nature section, looks at Leonardo da Vinci as an all-round genius, thinker, artist, scientist and engineer. The site includes online galleries of paintings, sketches and works by other artists, providing additional information and high-quality images. An interactive area presents Leonardo's 'studio' which, by navigating around select items in the studio, links to additional biographical and historical information about the artist and the Renaissance period, covering Leonardo's designs for flying machines, the materials used by Renaissance artists, camera obscura, anatomy and the unfinished work 'Adoration of the Magi'. In addition, there is a link to an illustrated timeline of his life with a series of 12 questions to test your Leonardo knowledge, plus an interactive 'what kind of thinker are you?' quiz. The site is exciting to explore and allows a closer look at masterpieces such as the Mona Lisa, Lady with Ermine, The Last Supper, and drawings and sketches. Experts in the fields of art history, architecture, and engineering share their opinions on the website.
The 'Maison d'Ailleurs' is a "museum of science fiction, utopia, and extraordinary journeys". Also known as 'The House of Elsewhere', the museum is located in Switzerland. The Maison d'Ailleurs website offers details of current and past gallery exhibitions, a free newsletter, and has an overview of the research facilities. The website also has details of the 'Innovative Technologies from Science Fiction for Space Applications' (ITSF) project, in which The European Space Agency asked the museum to conduct a study of technologies found in science fiction literature. The museum claims to have a "large, fabulous collection consisting of more than 40,000 books ... [and] nearly 20,000 documents and items related to science fiction and its imagery" and the museum collaborates with an French archive to offer what it claims is one of "the biggest science fiction photo libraries in the world". The website has contact details, opening times, and complete documentation of past exhibitions.
Part of the impressive John Snow site hosted by the UCLA, the website "Map of London Waterworks 1856" is a resource dedicated to publishing an electronic copy of the Robert W. Mylne's 1856 'Map of the Contours of London and its Environs, Showing the Districts and Areas Supplied by the Nine Metropolitan Water Companies'. The image quality is very good, and the map is available at several levels of magnification; navigation remains simple regardless of the level of zoom due to a separate navigation frame. In additon to providing full bibliographic data for the source and a short publishing history, the site also features the text of the original introduction and a copy of the legend. Maps of London from 1818 and 1859 are also added to the site.
This is a Web page detailing the context, range and availability of the Mathematics in Britain, 1860-1940 dataset hosted by the Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS), based at the UK Data Archive University of Essex (formerly part of the Arts and Humanities Data Service - AHDS). The data is available to order from the HDS as a Kleio database. From this Web page you may download a PDF of images of the study documentation. To make use of this dataset you must first register with the HDS, and further information is supplied giving instructions. This project aims to study the growth of mathematics in Britain between 1860 and 1940, and in particular to study the growth of mathematical research; the emergence and growth of a mathematical profession; changes in the mathematical syllabus at universities; and ways in which aspects of mathematical life were related. The dataset includes biographical details of mathematicians working in Britain between 1860 and 1940 (amateur as well as professional); mathematics departments in universities and training colleges, and mathematics courses; details of learned societies, mathematical journals and mathematical prizes. These data were compiled using kleio, a data management system designed specifically to cater for the computing needs of historians. Users wishing to use software other than kleio to analyse these data, should be aware that they will have to undertake editing and restructuring of the material if they are to fully exploit its potential for analysis.
Part of the University of Minnesota's College of Liberal Arts' website, the Media History Project promotes the study of media history. Sub-titled "promoting the study of media history from petroglyphs to pixels", it contains a media time line, ranging from the prehistoric to the present day, articles and quizzes for media studies students. The articles explore the way technology; politics; economics; cultural and moral change; and institutions have contributed to the development of the media throughout its history. Subjects include printing and publishing; journalism; photography; advertising and comics; telegraphy, telephony and sound recording; radio, film, television and computing.
'The Mozilla Digital Memory Bank' is a new online project of the Center for History and New Media, George Mason University, and it aims to preserve the oral history of the development of the Open Source 'Mozilla' Web browsers such as Firefox. The project is one of a small handful of websites that are seeking to capture and preserve the oral history of key parts of the personal computing revolution. As of July 2007, the website has 17 interviews online (most as audio files), hundreds of images, and a timeline is promised shortly. The website is in an early stage of development, but is already a useful resource for historians of modern technology.
This is the website of the American Aviation Museum, at the Robins Air Force Base. There are highly animated and visually and orally stimulating presentations about the military aircraft collection exhibits and aviation history. Exhibits online include: the Aviation Hall of Fame; 14th Air Force; 43rd Bomb Group; RAFB and World War Two Commemorative; History of Flight; The Korean War; The Tuskegee Airmen; and The Robert Scott Story. The website engages the senses with entertaining yet easily navigable and informative content, snappy graphics - some like a pilot's head-up-display, sound effects of aircraft, innovative use of technology, and consistent use of graphics and navigation menus. The site includes games and interactivity for children and older researchers to enjoy. The website won the Gold MUSE Award 2003 for Promotion of an Institution from the Media and Technology Standing Professional Committee of the American Association of Museums (AAM).
The 'Virtually The National Valve Museum' Web pages brings together articles and exhibits from a wide range of sources on the Internet; these are arranged in the following sections: Museums; Articles; Exhibits; Equivalents; and Time Line. The valves have been photographed and a description written and by clicking on the number of an exhibit, the details of each valve may be accessed. E.g. the HMS Collingwood page and the HMS Collingwood Museum page contains exhibits related to Naval communications and radar. These include the John Lawrence collection of valves and equipment, and a collection of vintage domestic wireless sets. Those interested in the museum need to phone for an appointment and the contact telephone number and address are provided.
The website for the UK's National Videogame Archive contains basic information about the NVA, which was launched in October 2008. The NVA is... "a joint project between the National Media Museum and Nottingham Trent University, which aims to celebrate that culture and preserve that history for researchers, developers, game fans and the public." At November 2008 the website contains a basic profile of the NVA, contact details, a FAQ, and details of how to become involved. There is an associated NVA website, www.savethevideogame.org, which contains the NVA's call for archival materials. The NVA websites will be a useful starting point for those interested in the ways in which interactive new media can be conserved and archived for future generations. In future years it may also be of interest to those seeking scholarly texts on the history of videogames and game cultures.
'OV: the Open Video Project' is an online video bank that aims... "to collect and make available a repository of digitized video content for the digital video, multimedia retrieval, digital library, and other research communities". It contains historical and some arts videos, all released under open source licenses. These include videos from: the Digital Himalaya Project (34 early films from anthropologists in the Himalayas); and SIGGRAPH Video (10 videos); among others. At April 2008 the OV video bank contained around 4,000 videos, although some of these are longer films cut into shorter sections for ease of download. The bias of the collections seems to be strongly toward films from the United States - for instance, a sample search for keyword 'London' only calls up six videos, although these include a 13 minute 'Tour through central parts of London' (1920), as a 370Mb MPEG file. The archive can be searched using a variety of options, including colour/B&W, sound or silent, and by duration. The website also has a weblog-like listing of project news, and additional information about each collection. This may be an especially useful website for historians of the United States, and may also interest artists seeking historic film footage that is free to use in new works. The website also has full details of the OV project, its staff, aims, and future plans.
This website documents the special collections and archives held at Oxford Brookes University. Individual collections are described, and items in them may be searched for through the library’s online catalogue. The collection reflects the history of the institutions, together with its strengths in research, and is notably strong in material relating to the history of medicine, cartography, twentieth century literature and the food, drink and hospitality industry. Collections are supplemented by a number of important archives, including the National Brewing Library, the Museum of Modern Art Oxford collection (now Modern Art Oxford) and Man Booker Prize archive.
This is the website of the Plastics Historical Society, a partner in the JISC Museum of Design in Plastics Digitisation Project. Along with a wealth of information about the Society and its activities, the website contains a Virtual Museum which offers a useful timeline and a variety of exhibits on horn and different types of 20th century plastics. There is a useful 'Caring for Plastics' page which may interest conservators - this can be found in the 'Experiencing Plastics' section. There are also many open-access scholarly papers and notes in the 'Articles & Papers' section. There is a weblog and a discussion forum. The Society is based in the UK, and its library is available for consultation at the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining in London - the website has an online catalogue for the Library. This website will be a vital starting point for anyone interested in the history of design with plastics in the English-speaking world and beyond.
'Points of View: Capturing the 19th Century in Photographs' is the website and online exhibition of a major exhibition at the British Library in London. The free exhibition ends on 7th Mar 2010. The curators have selected works from the rich and rarely-seen 300,000-item photographic archives of the British Museum (now at the British Library, which has since added to the 19th century collection) to ask of the 19th century: "Who was making the photograph and why?" The website contains an online exhibition grouped around eight themes, with images described in detail and offered either as zoom-able images or as small printable images without watermarks. There are also videos of early photographic techniques, an active and illustrated weblog, and useful external Web links to newspaper and magazine reviews of the show. There are also details of the hardback book published to accompany the exhibition.
This website contains a large free archive of the famous U.S. Radio Shack product catalogues, from 1939 until 2005. Some catalogues from the late 1940s and early 1950s are missing from the run. Catalogues have been scanned in colour and at a high resolution. Scans are available via a simple Flash interface, and do not have watermarks. There are also other brochures, many Radio Shack TV adverts as online streaming video, a short history of Radio Shack, and a discussion forum. This will be a useful resource for historians seeking to examine the ways in which new consumer and hobbyist technologies were promoted and sold in the U.S.A. over a long period, and to examine original documents showing the commercial emergence of early personal computers. It may also be a useful resource for those seeking to track the evolving representations of 'the nerd' in U.S. culture. The website is not authorised by the RadioShack Corporation and is intended for non-profit research uses only.
This is a Web page detailing the context, range and availability of the 'Railway Timetables on Selected Important and Minor Routes, 1850, 1870, 1887 and 1910' dataset hosted by the Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS), based at the UK Data Archive University of Essex (formerly part of the Arts and Humanities Data Service - AHDS). The data is available to order from the HDS as tab delimited text files or MS Excel 2002 files. From this Web page you may download a PDF of images of the study documentation. To make use of this dataset you must first register with the HDS, and further information is supplied giving instructions. These data were created as part of the project 'Understanding the effects of different generations of large-scale technological change' which used modern economic theory to measure more accurately the effects of major technological changes. It did this by comparing current major new technology - computing- with two previous generations of large-scale technological change, railways and electricity, thereby creating a yardstick by which to judge what constitutes a large effect. It then moved away from the commonly held assumption that new technology simply reduces the price of existing goods and instead examined the notion that major new technologies create new goods and that consumers value some of those new goods very highly. It also considered the extent to which these technologies deserve the term general purpose, by looking at how evenly the effects of each technology are spread across the different sectors of the economy. These particular data were used to more accurately assess the average speeds of English and Welsh railways in the period. These data give the times of all weekday train journeys on 50 important routes in England and Wales and of 1 train journey on each of 222 minor routes, for each four benchmark years: 1850, 1870, 1887 and 1910.
The website 'Renaissance Secrets' is published by the Open University and the BBC as a companion to a series of short programmes about this period of history. Subjects covered include the architecture of the dome of Florence Cathedral; Venice; Italian Renaissance medicine and healthcare; and the question of whether Gutenberg really did invent movable type, as has usually been believed. For some of the subjects, full transcripts of the programmes are provided. There are also reading lists, together with biographies of the academic experts involved. The course also includes interesting insights from non-academic experts, such as Daniel Libeskind and Cecil Balmond. Additionally, there are links to pages on four major historiographical approaches, including those connected to Marxist theories and women's history. The website is obviously intended to be used in conjunction with courses on the Renaissance, in particular that of the Open University. The subjects are not covered in depth, but the site serves as an entertaining and basic introduction to the topics covered. The site is well laid out, and excellent images are also interspersed with the texts.
Responses to the Holocaust : A Hypermedia Sourcebook is one of the few websites that explicitly addresses the intellectual impact of the Holocaust. It is basically a defunct site, having not been updated since 1995 and thus there are a number of broken links; nonetheless, its content is unusual and significant enough to merit scholarly attention and it should prove a fertile starting point especially for undergraduate and graduate students. Fields covered by the site include literature, literary criticism and film. There are essays here on films which explore the legacy of the Holocaust. Literary criticism, following Theodor Adorno, questions the ability of literature to 'represent' extreme events whose nature lies outside the realm of aesthetic or even basic linguistic expression. At the same time, philosophers such as Hannah Arendt, Emmanuel Levinas and Jean François Lyotard have all taken the Holocaust as a starting point for their ideas, notably in terms of individual responsibility and of Postmodern Philosophy. From this, the site takes us to a paper on the second generation melancholia of Art Spiegelman's MAUS. But by far the most intriguing and least explored of these influences, however, lies in the realm of Information Technology. There is a good essay here by Robert Leventhal which posts pictures of the Hollerith machine, an early computing prototype which was used by the Nazis to process victims' information and was produced by a subsidiary of IBM. Leventhal presents the actual machinery and technical expertise – whether in terms of computing, engineering, science or medicine – which ensured the practical implementation Holocaust, and points to pressing and increasingly relevant questions on the institutionalized intermingling of information, science, technology and the state. The fact that many of the legacies of the Holocaust have become banal and unrecognised aspects of daily life testifies to this genocide's impact on modern culture, but also to its position as a breaking point not merely in Western, but in world, consciousness.
The website "Return to Titanic" features a National Geographic multimedia presentation of the 2004 exploration of the Titanic, the famous ocean liner that sank during her maiden voyage (April 1912). The expedition by Dr Robert D. Ballard was chronicled in occasional dispatches, which have been stored on the site. They contain a few pictures taken from the various phases of the mission; more pictures are in the photo gallery, which contains over 50 annotated pictures. A section concentrates on the background of the expedition and includes a video interview with Dr Ballard. Particularly important is the discussion about the preservation of the Titanic. Dr Ballard comments on the degrading that the shipwreck has suffered in the nearly twenty years from his last visit. An interactive section benefits from Macromedia Flash animations to present an annotated picture of the ship on the seafloor. Each section of the Titanic can be illuminated by clicking on it, and a wireframe reconstruction can be superimposed. National Geographic has produced a TV documentary and a preview of it is freely available. Another section of this website offers more pictures for download, in formats suitable for use as computer wallpaper and screensaver. This website can be useful to anybody who is interested in the preservation of shipwrecks, with issues of underwater tourism referenced, or just wants to see the latest pictures of the Titanic. The higher education community may find useful the dispatches to present the organisation and instruments required in a underwater archaeology project.
The Royal Observatory and the National Maritime Museum have teamed together to create this comprehensive subsite dedicated to the holdings and activities of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. The information on the site is manifold. The history of the Royal Observatory and events related to the International Year of Astronomy 2009 are present on the main page. Sections on the site are: Planetarium Shows; Peter Harrison Planetarium; Meridian line; 28-inch telescope; Time ball; Camera obscura; Observing evenigs; Astronomy galleries; Time galleries; and For schools. Each section has subsequent chapters with background information; history; aspects of physics or astronomy explainedl or answers to various questions related to time or observation of the skies. Photographs on the site and on Flickr! and 360 degrees panoramas accompany the text. The online learning resources were stil under development at the time of review. This site introduces an exciting place to visit and offers a great deal of information to anyone interested in astronomy, physics and time reckoning.
This is the website for Salomons Museum, the onetime home and estate of the Salomons family. The Salomons included Sir David Salomons, Member of Parliament, equality campaigner and the first Jewish Lord Mayor of London and his son, the scientist and road transport pioneer Sir David Lionel Salomons. As well as the family's historic home and estate (one of the earliest buildings in the country be powered by electricity and including Sir David Lionel Salomons' purpose-built Science Theatre) the museum is cares for the various collections built up by the family: badges; ballooniana; Jewish history; London; electrical/scientific; estate and family; transport; medals; World War I. The collection’s illustrated catalogue is available online, and the website includes a virtual museum tour and information about public access. Salomons Museum has received AHRC funding.
The website Secrets and Spies is one of the online exhibitions featured in the The National Archives Exhibitions & Treasures, and it looks at the history of espionage and codes in Britain. The exhibition is separated into three main sections, Codes and Ciphers, which looks at how sensitive military and political information has been encrypted over the centuries; Spies, which looks at three individuals, Antony Standen, Colquhoun Grant and Natalie Sergueiew, known as Treasure, who have spied for Britain; and Codemaster where the pigpen cipher is revealed and examined. Topics covered range from the sixteenth century and the Babington Plot against Elizabeth I, through the intelligence methods used by General Scovell in the Peninsular War, to the work undertaken at Bletchley Park during the Second World War and the cracking of the Enigma code. In addition to this there is a glossary of people and terms providing background, and a fun interactive resource where you can send encypted messages to friends.
A Short History of the Development of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology provides a chronological overview of technological developments in this field since the nineteenth century. Much of the information on the site has been written by the site creator, Joseph Woo, although links to external sites are also used where appropriate. As well as providing a chronology the site has an index which divides the information into the following categories: Early developments in ultrasonics; Short histories of the developement of medical ultrasonics in pioneering countries; Biographies and mentions; Gray scale and scan converter; The Real-time Scanner; The Transvaginal Scanner; Early Doppler ultrasound; Applications; Amniocentesis; Three dimensional ultrasound; Tissue characterization; Bio-safety; and Others.
These Web pages give free access to the full-text of titles in the 'Smithsonian Contributions and Studies' Series, produced by the Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press. Several available titles will be of interest to historians, such as: 'Smithsonian Contributions to History and Technology'; 'Smithsonian Studies in Air and Space' (1977-1990, which also has history articles); and the 'Smithsonian Annals of Flight' (1964-1974, about the history of flight). Two other titles may be of interest to those studying arts and music in traditional and folk cultures: 'Smithsonian Contributions to Anthropology'; and 'Folklife Studies' (1980–1990). Articles are provided in PDF format, with both high-resolution and low-resolution versions available. Short abstracts are also available. There is also a short essay on the history of the series, and a useful full-text keyword search facility to search the whole series.
'Spacearts: the space art database' aims to "document this important and exciting art form and to make it publicly accessible on this website". The project is a joint one, between the French branch of Leonardo/ISAST (the International Society for the Arts, Science and Technology) and the Swiss OURS Foundation. Partners include the International Academy of Astronautics and the European Space Agency. At June 2007 the database had details of 21 space art artists. Artists are represented by their photograph, a short biography, small-sized samples of their work, and external links to their websites.
The website Second World War is another excellent resource from the Spartacus collection aimed at A and AS Level History students. The site is easy to navigate and provides links to sections in a tabular form. The usual subjects are covered, such as Nazi Germany, political leaders, major offensives, the Armed Forces and military leaders. However there are also substantial sections on war artists, photographers and journalists, scientists and inventors, and the Home Front. There are various essay questions and class activities included within this encyclopaedia, which is a comprehensive source for reference, revision and teaching various aspects of World War Two. Descriptions of, and narratives concerning the events, leading protagonists and organisations pertinent to the period are supplemented by the texts of primary source documentation and a rich variety of links to pertinent external websites.
The sugar refiners and sugarbakers database is a comprehensive directory of all known individuals and businesses involved in the sugar trade and industry in Britain from the 16th to the 19th centuries. As well as providing details of names, addresses, dates and relevant primary documentary sources, the database also includes the origins, where known, of individuals (many originating from Germany). The database is complemented by a series of articles on the history of sugar processing in Britain, with case studies of families involved in the industry, maps indicating the locations of sugar processing workshops and factories in major cities, and a bibliography.
'Technovelgy' is a personal website encyclopaedia that details over 1,800 inventions found in literary science fiction, from the year 1638 until the present. Details of these imaginary inventions can be browsed by a timeline, via one of 100 themes ranging from Armour to Work, by author and book, or by 'device name'. This website will be a useful aid for science fiction scholars and science historians, as well as entertainment producers, who wish to quickly establish the literary predecessors of a certain form of technology or device. The website offers an RSS newsfeed for updates. The author also uses the website to track and provide links to 'Science Fiction in the News', using a weblog-like form to cover media reports appearing to show that a previously fictional science fiction invention is now possible or available in commercial form.
This is the website of a project to organise and publish the papers of Thomas Alva Edison (microfilms, book editions, and a digital edition), which in all number over five million pages. It is sponsored by Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; the National Park Service; the Smithsonian Institution; and the New Jersey Historical Commission, and supported by over 60 public and private foundations, corporations and individuals. The site makes available a searchable document database linked to document images for Parts I-III of the Thomas A. Edison papers (1847-1898) and some of the editorial materials from the image and text publications, with continual additions. The project intends that in its final form the full digital edition will include the text of the print volumes. The website has a series of headings through which the material may be accessed: Edison Papers; Thomas Alva Edison; Outreach and Search. Each of these has several sub-headings, which include Edison's patents and companies; chronologies; bibliographies; details about the microfilm and book editions of the project; maps and images, and related resources on the Web. There are also details about the Thomas A. Edison papers, and the project (history, staff and funders), as well as a Latest Edison Papers News sidebar. This is a huge project and the website reflects the comprehensive nature of the endeavour in a way which makes a large amount of material easily accessible.
The "US Centennial of Flight" website provides resources for museums and teachers (supplemental materials, projects and research tools) to use to "celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers' first powered flight at Kill Devil Hills (near Kitty Hawk), North Carolina, on December 17th, 1903. This is the work of the U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission who also promote awareness of 100 years of aviation history through the website. The top-navigation bar points to main sections of the site such as: the Wright Brothers (Orville Wright and Wilbur Wright); the History of Flight; Sights and Sounds (multimedia); Education (resources for teachers) and Links (a gateway of links to more than 50 educational information sources arranged by category and the sponsoring Organization). A timeline and a dictionary are also available. The whole site can be navigated as-is, or by clicking on a link in the left-navigation bar the presentation changes to meet the needs of "kids, educators, enthusiasts, or the media". The images, films, audio files, educational posters, essays, and other media are extremely well presented, easy to identify on the site, and there are excellent notes and indicators to the memory sizer and anticipated download times.
'Universal Newsreels' is part of the Internet Archive website, and the Web pages in this section gives free access to digitised versions of over 600 selected cinema newsreels produced by Universal between 1929 and 1967. Newsreels were news films shown in cinemas at a time before the widespread ownership of televisions. Users may browse by collection or by subject / keywords. Video may be freely downloaded in OGG Video, MPEG4, or MPEG2 formats, and downloading is not restricted only to those in the U.S.A. Films seems to have been selected because they show moments of great historic interest. Of interest to British visitors may be: 'Churchill Home-Coming' (1941); 'Jungle War In Burma' (1944); 'RAF Sinks Tirpitz' (1944); 'Beaten Nazis Sign Historic Surrender' (1945), among others. The newsreels have been placed in the public domain by Universal, and thus students looking for royalty free footage to use in learning film-editing or in arts projects may find reels such as 'Chimp into Space' (1961) especially useful. The entire collection of Universal Newsreels is held at the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.
This website lists the University of Salford Library’s archive collections. These chiefly relate to the cultural, social, economic, transport and industrial heritage of Salford, ranging from the papers of local authors to local companies archives. Items in the archives are listed, and each collection’s scope explained.
This collection of BBC Web pages offers an introduction to the technology and innovation of the Victorian era, when 'Britain emerged as the most powerful trading nation in the world, provoking a social and economic revolution whose effects are still being felt today'. A five-page article by the lecturer, broadcaster and exhibition curator, Paul Atterbury, which may be downloaded or printed out, forms the heart of the material. Each page of the article may be accessed individually, under the headings 'A powerful trading nation', 'Great pioneers', Booming railways' and 'Communication revolution', with the final page, 'Find out more', offering a bibliography for further research. There are also links to a wide range of additional material, from articles on other aspects of Victorian industrial culture, such as 'Industry and Invention' and 'Workshop of the World', to features on key figures, such as Isambard Kingdom Brunel, James Watt, Queen Victoria and Alexander Bell. The Multimedia Zone offers animated models of innovations, such as the Beam Engine, the Spinning Mill, the Paddle Steamer, and George Stephenson's Rocket engine. This is a well-presented site offering a basic resource aimed at a general audience, but with sufficient depth to make it of use to undergraduate researchers.
This website describes the special collections and archives held by the University of Bradford Library. Built around the University’s research interests, the collections cover areqa including: archaeology; local history; history of science and medicine; literature (notably the JB Priestley Archive); religion and peace studies. As well as describing each collection in some detail, the website also explains how to find and access material.