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Guide of the Week: History

I had a pretty humble beginning in government documents. In June 1993, I began work as a documents clerk at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). UTSA was enlightened enough to send a paraprofessional to the local government documents users group. It was there that I first met Kathy Amen, the author of today’s ALA GODORT Handout Exchange guide and someone I consider to be both a mentor and friend even though we don’t keep in great touch.

Kathy’s Guide:

Government Information in the Study of History (Kathy Amen, St. Mary’s University, 2003)

makes it’s purpose clear with this intro statement:

This set of guides has 2 purposes:

* to identify historically significant materials in the Blume Library documents collection, housed on the main floor of the Library
* to provide convenient access to government (and related) web sites of interest to the historian and history students

Therefore, each of the guide’s sections is subdivided into

* annotated listings of the Library’s print holdings (with online versions noted if they are available)
* major web-based resources
* references to relevant links in our Government Information on the Web Subject Index, as an aid to finding more detailed online information.

Those guide sections would be: General, Archaeology, Archives, Area Studies, Biography, Institutions, Military, Places, Science/Technology, Social/Labor, and Sources. In addition to browsing these pages, a search is available.

Some of the many resources that Kathy identifies in the area of history are:

  • Honor Bound: The History of American Prisoners of War in Southeast Asia, 1961-1973 (D 1.2:H 75/3). This volume draws upon research in official records, published literature and interviews with former POW’s to chart the history of those taken prisoner during the Vietnam conflict.
  • Built in America: Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record. This collection, part of the Library of Congress’ American Memory project, “document achievements in architecture, engineering, and design in the United States and its territories through a comprehensive range of building types and engineering technologies.” The website includes drawings, photographs, narrative descriptions, etc. You may search by keyword or browse by subject or location.
  • Bibliography of the History of Medicine. (HE 20.3615:). Annual. 1964-1993. Covers articles, monographs, and conference proceedings world-wide. One section contains references to biographical information on the medical histories of famous persons, medical aspects of artistic works, and biographies of those in health related professions. A second section indexes references by subject, subdivided, where appropriate, by geographical or chronological headings. There is a detailed contents list of subject headings which includes cross references.
  • Famous American Trials. Many, though not all, of the trials covered on this site developed by a law professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City were held in the U.S. Information given includes links to official documents, background and analytical studies, contemporary and later reactions, maps, photographs and other illustrations as relevant.
  • Guide to the Research Collections of Former Members of the U.S. House of Representatives, 1789-1987. ( Y 1.1/2:13872). Identifies repositories of papers, oral history tapes and tape transcripts.

Check out the rest of the guide. I know I say this in every entry, but it is particularly true here. Kathy’s guide is extensive and has many subtopics, so you really need to browse it awhile to get a sense of what’s available.

Once you’re done, take a break. Then see what other topics are available. And if you are a documents librarian with a guide, please add your guide to the wiki!

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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