I can live without the New York Times.

17 03 2011

I used to think that I couldn’t live without watching the CBS Evening News every night. I haven’t watched the CBS Evening News since 1996.

I used to think that I couldn’t live without meat. I’ve been a vegetarian since 2007.

I used to think that I couldn’t live without paying $60/month for Internet through a cable modem from the worst company in the world. I’ve been getting great coverage from the mobile hotspot on my wife’s phone since January.

I used to think I couldn’t visit (let alone live) in any country where the primary language wasn’t English. Worst mistake of my life. Didn’t fix it until my late Thirties.

I used to think I couldn’t live without the New York Times. I actually paid for it the last time they put up a paywall. I’m not going to make that mistake again. This paywall is weak enough so that I won’t even have to go cold turkey. Perhaps I’ll go back to reading their paper regularly again when this paywall inevitably fails, or perhaps by then I’ll no longer care.





Victorian ephemera at the British Library.

24 01 2011

One other cool thing about Twitter is that it gives me yet another place to learn about cool stuff on the web that I probably wouldn’t have heard of otherwise. The Evanion Collection of Ephemera at the British Library got tweeted by J-Store (of all places) this morning, and on the basis of a quick look around it seems quite wonderful.





A Thanksgiving treat.

25 11 2010

Via the Scout Report, it’s the menu collection at the University of Nevada – Las Vegas. While the wonderfully tacky Vegas menus are there, there are at least a few lovely old New York menus too.

Bon appetit, everyone.





For educational purposes only.

4 05 2010

I just came back from watching a talented and brave 8th grade teacher teach his students about racism at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. He told me about the Jim Crow Museum at Ferris State University, which strikes me as a very useful web site as long as it’s used very carefully.





Online collections at the Hagley Museum and Library.

12 04 2010

It’s sort of funny, really. I’m speaking at the Hagley Museum and Library in Delaware on Thursday night, but it took a web site review in the JAH for me to realize just how much material they have put online. The grocer’s refrigerator above is just the first thing I’ve found that’s right up my alley, but there seems to be a ton of useful literature from other industries too.

And for those of you who don’t like business history, they’ve digitized all the programs from the Miss America Pageant between 1945 and 1967. Think how much fun you can have with those!





Buildings of Detroit.

19 03 2010

Photos, postcards and other information about the building of Detroit are available, logically enough, at BuildingsofDetroit.com. To say that the images are haunting in light of the current state of that city would be a vast understatement. Thanks to Scott Martelle (who posts more interesting stuff on Facebook than anyone I know) for the link.

Oddly enough, I’m actually going to Detroit for Spring Break. Well, Dearborn, actually so look for good stuff from the Henry Ford Museum coming soon to this space.





Patent medicine cards and other archival oddities.

14 03 2010

Perhaps I’ll devote weekends from now on to posts from Boing Boing that the folks at AHA Today can cite on Thursdays. This week, Boing Boing linked to this post from Mental Floss which sent me straight into the Patent Medicine ads online at UCLA. I’ve been scrolling through them whenever I have a free moment online ever since.





Two killer web sites for historic images.

14 12 2009

Ever since I switched over to PowerPoint lectures for my survey class (all images with minimal text, of course) a few years ago, I’ve been constantly on the prowl for better images than the ones I find using Google Images and little else. Last week in DC, I went to presentations on two government sites designed for teachers that I’ve just started exploring.

The first is Picturing America from the National Endowment for the Humanities. It covers about 40 historic images (including more than a few which can’t possibly be in the Public Domain). I just put three slides into my presentations using the disc I got from the presenters, but the images have to be up on the web site somewhere!

That site is probably best for secondary school teachers who want to add art to their classes, but Teaching With Historic Places from the National Parks Service definitely works at all levels. Here is the link to their lesson plans dealing with historic sites around the country, organized by time periods from pre-contact to the recent past. The key to understanding this effort is that the National Parks Service has one of the largest collections of historic materials in the whole government because every site it operates has stuff that goes with it. I’ve just started mining the images there (including the shot of the Battle of Midway above) but have barely scratched the surface. I get the feeling this one may turn out to be almost as good as finding another American Memory.





Best food history link…

9 11 2009

…from my History of Food Bleg:

Food Timeline. Apparently, it’s been an Internet project since 1999! That’s like forever in cyberspace.





Swine flu panic (in 1976).

27 04 2009

It scares me that I have to read Gawker for historical perspective on today’s headlines.








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