Archive for the ‘Free Research Resources’ Category

C-SPAN Video Library

August 23, 2012

I’m pretty impressed with the C-SPAN Video Library– this site allows anyone to watch all C-SPAN programs produced since 1987 online for free! There are many ways to locate programs of interest- for example, you can browse by program type or tags. They have a great blog as well which is updated very often.

The site doesn’t allow for the embedding of its videos in WordPress (as far as I can tell), but here’s a link to a great video called Women and Political Activism from a few months ago.


CIA World Factbook

July 18, 2012

The CIA World Factbook is a great free, credible resource for anyone interested in obtaining current background information about a country. Topics covered include geography, economy, people, history, transportation, etc.

There are also regional maps and images of flags of the world, both of which can be downloaded as JPGs or PDFs. Here’s the Czech Republic’s page as an example! Each country has its own photo gallery as well.

Prague's Hradcany (Castle District)

Queer Immigration Reading List

July 3, 2012

My friend Charlotte sent me a link awhile ago that I’ve been meaning to blog about. Published by Coloradans for Immigrant Rights, the Queer Immigration Reading List is an excellent bibliography of 20+ free online articles pertaining to experiences of LGBTQ immigrants in the United States.

While the bibliography is a bit dated (the most recent articles were published in 2009), the librarian in me thought this resource could particularly be of use to people researching queers and immigration rights from a historical perspective.

On a related note, my friend Stina and I recently wrote a joint book review on two recent texts exploring the treatment of queers in the U.S. criminal justice system, Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex and Queer (In)Justice: The Criminalization of LGBT People in the United States. The same website, Coloradans for Immigrant Rights, posted a well-written and informative 2011 paper called “Connecting the Dots: How Immigrant Repression and U.S. Incarceration Serve Global Capitalist Interests,” which I would definitely recommend to anyone looking to learn more about these significant issues. The paper is available for free download here.

Bentham Open Access Journals

June 25, 2012

Hi everyone- it’s been a couple months, but I’m back and ready to start blogging about new free resources for research and action!

Today I’m going to talk about a great site for downloading free scholarly journal articles, Bentham Open Access. For anyone who’s read my blog before, I absolutely LOVE open access journals (I use the Directory of Open Access Journals all the time myself and encourage you to check it out as well).

Bentham Open publishes over 230 peer-reviewed journals in science, technology, social sciences, and medicine. Site visitors can search for journals either by subject or title. Once you find an article you’re interested in you can download it and save it for FREE!

Isn’t open access beautiful?

African-American Women Digital Collection

April 3, 2012

Duke University’s David M. Rubinstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library has some excellent online archival collections. Today I want to profile African American Women, which contains three digital collections.

The first is called “Elizabeth Johnson Harris: Life Story,” and includes full-text of memoirs and poems/articles written by Harris, a Georgia writer. The second collection is called “Hannah Valentine & Lethe Jackson: Slave Letters,” and the third is “Vilet Lester Letter,” a scanned version of a letter written by Lester in 1857.

While you’re on the Rubinstein website I encourage you to check out their other rich digital collections as well!

Literature, Arts, and Medicine Database

February 29, 2012

NYU School of Medicine maintains a quite unique, fascinating free database called Literature, Arts, and Medicine. The “About” section of the database describes itself as an “annotated multimedia listing of prose, poetry, film, video and art that was developed to be a dynamic, accessible, comprehensive resource for teaching and research in MEDICAL HUMANITIES, and for use in health/pre-health, graduate and undergraduate liberal arts and social science settings.”

It’s really useful for both students of these subjects as well as librarians/professors looking for teaching resources.  Site visitors can search for information by annotation, people search, keyword (topic), annotator, and a general free text search.

The site’s maintainers are meticulous about updating it – they post new announcements most days of the week, it seems!

Repositories of Primary Sources

February 21, 2012

Anyone looking for primary source materials housed in archives across the world is in luck, as the website Repositories of Primary Sources will be your free research matchmaker! The site lists 5000+ websites which describe “holdings of manuscripts, archives, rare books, historical photographs, and other primary sources for the research scholar.”

The repositories are divided by geographical location — as far as I could see there is no search function. This project is really useful and the fact that it doesn’t cost anything to use is much appreciated. Other sites like Archive Finder require a subscription.


Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries

January 30, 2012

My friend Charlotte just sent me a resource which is going to come in extremely handy in my work as a  librarian and could also possibly be useful to you, reader! Its a free downloadable document called the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries,  and it was published earlier this month by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL).

According to the ARL website, the Code’s purpose includes answering copyright/fair use questions such as (and I quote):

  • When and how much copyrighted material can be digitized for student use? And should video be treated the same way as print?
  • How can libraries’ special collections be made available online?
  • Can libraries archive websites for the use of future students and scholars

In order to obtain the necessary information for the report the Code’s research team interviewed dozens of academic and research librarians. It makes me really pleased that ARL made this detailed document freely accessible to anyone!

P.S. This 10 page FAQ for librarians on copyright is quite handy, too!

American History Online

January 25, 2012

If you’ve read my blog much before than you might know how much I adore digital archival collections. Imagine – then – how pleased I am to be writing today about American History Online, a project which boasts 362 historical digital collections! This site is as rich in primary resources as my favorite West Village bakery (Molly’s) is in cupcakes.

Brilliant Luna Park at Night

Brilliant Luna Park at Night (Underwood & Underwood, 1904)

The site is extremely well-organized and current. Visitors can browse by subject, (i.e. Government, Music, Religion, etc) , place, or time. It’s also possible to search by keyword and/or year.

I could (and probably will) spend hours exploring this project. Have fun!

National Visionary Leadership Project

January 23, 2012

Oral histories are such a rich primary resource – I always get excited when I meet a researcher hunting for them. Anybody looking for oral histories of African American visionaries who have played pivotal roles in American history should absolutely check out the National Visionary Leadership Project (NVLP).

A non-profit located in Washington, DC, NVLP maintains an extensive oral history digital archive, which features video interviews with 100+ visionaries from a wide variety of professional and activist backgrounds.

For an example, please see the below video of Derrick A Bell, Jr., a Civil Rights lawyer and author who passed away last year.