Tag Archives: History

Constitution day September 17th

Celebrate Constitution Day by spending some time with the document that grants US citizens their rights and privileges. An annotated online version is available from Congress.gov that aims to increase understanding of the Constitution and how it affects our society.

Constitution Annotated allows users to browse through all the Articles and Amendments, providing links to Supreme Court decisions based on each. Users can also perform topic searches and find all the passages in the Articles and Amendments and the Supreme Court cases dealing with that topic. For example, I searched “religion” in the topic search bar at the top of the page, and a list is generated of all passages in the Constitution and in Supreme Court decisions that include the term.

Notice that all the State and federal laws held unconstitutional by the Supreme Court have been tabulated for easy cross-reference.

On the same site are links to digitized primary source documents from the Constitutional Convention. View George Washington’s copy of the constitution draft annotated in his own handwriting! Read a broadside “Ode” celebrating the Constitution. Peruse pamphlets published in state and national newspapers arguing for and against the national Constitution and its ratification process. There is a very helpful “Historical Note” on the formation of the constitution, that places all of these documents in context.

With all these resources, we can surely go forth and “form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”

New Books on International Security

9780190854829

Intelligence: The Secret World of Spies, an Anthology, Fifth edition

Edited by Loch K. Johnson and James J. Wirtz

Call number: JK 468 .I6 I467 2019

View record in IvyCat

This book will be of interest for history, political science, and security studies. “A diverse, comprehensive, and highly accessible set of thirty-three readings by leading experts in the field. […] features coverage of many topics including methods of intelligence collection, intelligence analysis, the danger of intelligence politicization, relationships between intelligence officers and the policymakers they serve, covert action, counterintelligence, accountability and civil liberties, and the global struggle against ISIS. New articles focus on a range of important historical and current topics in intelligence, including the President’s Daily Brief, Social Media intelligence (“SOCMINT”), drone warfare, and the implications of Edward Snowden’s controversial intelligence leaks.” — Publisher

9780199390038

The Real North Korea: Life and Politics in the Failed Stalinist Utopia

By Andrei Lankov

Call number: DS 935.774 .L36 2015

View record in IvyCat

Useful for historical research as well as political science and security studies, this paperback edition of the acclaimed 2013 book is fully updated and revised. It is a history of North Korea, but the topical organization and extensive index make it easy for readers to drill right down to specific information. The author draws on sources ranging from international intelligence to personal interviews. “A native of the former Soviet Union … [Lankov] lived as an exchange student in North Korea in the 1980s. He has studied it for his entire career, using his fluency in Korean and personal contacts to build a rich, nuanced understanding. […] Lankov substitutes cold, clear analysis for the overheated rhetoric surrounding this opaque police state. After providing an accessible history of the nation, he turns his focus to what North Korea is, what its leadership thinks, and how its people cope with living in such an oppressive and poor place. He argues that North Korea is not irrational, and nothing shows this better than its continuing survival against all odds.” — Publisher

Public Domain Day 2019

On January 1st 2019, works copyrighted in 1923 entered the public domain! This is the first “Public Domain Day” since Congress extended copyright in 1998. Books, films, and sheet music copyrighted that year in the United States are now free to use without seeking permission or paying fees. (Only the 1923 editions, if there are later copyrighted editions! Librarians call this the 1923 manifestation of a work.)

Duke University’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain has a detailed explanation and a list of some notable items that have “gone public.” They may be worth considering for course or research project materials. HathiTrust already has released over 20,000 books and scientific reports copyrighted in 1923.

Some works from 1923 are startlingly out of touch with current values. The full lyrics of “Yes! We Have No Bananas” – a song refrain my family has sung for years – reveal it is an ethnic caricature. Songs making fun of ethnic groups were popular in the 1920s. The Library of Congress has more examples, plus curricula for teaching about them and about attitudes towards immigrants. As upsetting as such materials may be, having them publicly available is important to understanding our current social climate.

A librarian can help you locate public domain materials, and answer your copyright questions. Here’s to many happy returns of Public Domain Day!

November’s Commemorations

The month of November seems especially rich in historical commemorations, starting on November 1st when Christians celebrate All Saints Day. Guy Fawkes Day on November 5th recalls England’s struggle for religious freedom, and November 19th is the anniversary of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address during the American Civil War. During this month we honor our Native American heritage, especially on Thanksgiving; hold elections; and honor our veterans. The Library of Congress has many resources for students of all ages to explore these topics.

A newly digitized collection of 14 historical newspapers published in Native communities is gathered in the database Chronicling America. These range from coast to coast and cover nearly a century: 1828 to 1922. Many include transcriptions in Native languages along with English language articles that reveal the points of view and concerns of their communities. Try reading the Cherokee writing that Sequoya invented!

Veterans’ Day was originally Armistice Day, celebrating the end of the Great War, which later became known as World War I. November 11th, 2018 will mark 100 years since the cessation of hostilities.  Several divisions of the Library of Congress have contributed short introductions highlighting items from their collections relevant to this occasion.

One of the most moving eulogies to veterans is President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. View an autograph manuscript copy from the Library of Congress collections.

We have books on all these topics available for checkout. This month we are displaying children’s books on Native American heritage and Thanksgiving. As you enter the library, look over our showcase of Agriculture resources in the hallway. We hope to see you soon!

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What are digital humanities? Find out at THATCamp!

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The Humanities And Technology = THATCamp

We are participating in THATCamp Midwest @ Purdue University Fort Wayne. It will take place Friday October 5th from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., followed by optional discussion time. THATCamp Midwest @ Purdue Fort Wayne will function a bit differently than the usual THATCamp as there will be more focus on learning about digital humanities, which means we will have more structure and pre-scheduled sessions. It is perfect for faculty, staff, and students wishing to move into this field.

The day will include brief presentations, panel discussions, and workshops covering topics including: metadata tagging, social networking and data visualization, digital collections, digital project management, animation, augmented reality, and incorporating digital projects in classes/programs. A preliminary schedule is posted here on the website, where you can also register to attend. We hope to see you there!

Secret Lives: What Your Teachers Never Told You

Read this series to discover the secrets behind some of the world’s best-known people, including authors, artists, politicians, and more!

 

Titles included: