The Scout Report -- Volume 15, Number 43

October 30, 2009

A Publication of Internet Scout
Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Sponsored by University of Wisconsin - Madison Libraries.

Research and Education

General Interest

Network Tools

In The News

Research and Education

James B. Duke Memorial Library: Archives

Historically black colleges and universities have a strong sense of identity and their institutional history, and the James B. Duke Memorial Library serves as a repository of key items related to the growth and development of Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina. Over the past several years, the library has worked to place some of these items online in their "Archive" area. First-time visitors might want to click on the "JCSU's History" section to get a feel for the campus, past presidents, and the institution's unique traditions. Lovers of music will want to click on over to the "Biddle University Quintet" area of the site. The group has been an integral part of the campus for decades, and this area contains an interactive (and quite musical) biography, a historical essay, lesson plans, memorabilia, and photos. Moving along, the "Interactive Mural" profiles a massive mural by artist and professor Paul Keene that tells the story of the institution. Finally, there is a "Finding Aids" area, which may be useful to those who wish to consult the collections in person. [KMG]


Descartes, Michelangelo, and other notable European figures are all presented and accounted for within the Europeana archive. This prodigious site includes over 4.6 million digital items culled from over 100 institutions, including the National Archives of Finland, the European Archive, the Louvre, and the Slovak National Gallery. To get acquainted with this collection, users should browse on over to the "About Us" area via the homepage. Here one can take advantage of a short introductory film, read a list of all the contributing organizations, and learn how to use "My Europeana" to save searches or bookmark items. Those persons with a historical bent can use the "Timeline navigator" to peruse items from the archive chronologically. There's also a place for visitor feedback and a very advanced search engine. [KMG]

Pew Research Center: The States of Marriage and Divorce [Flash Player]

Where in the United States do people stay married? Where do some people frequently remarry? These are but a few of the questions that animate this recent study authored by D'Vera Cohn of the Pew Research Center. This report, complete with an interactive map, draws on information from the American Community Survey in order to paint a portrait of the state of marriage across the country. The report has a number of interesting findings, including the observation that a shrinking share of Americans are married and that the place with the highest median age at first marriage for men is the District of Columbia. After looking over the report, visitors should click on the interactive map to look up information for each state; the map narrates which percentage of the state's residents are currently married, currently divorced, or have been married three or more times. [KMG]

University of South Carolina Libraries: Inventory of Church Archives, 1937-1939

In the late 1930s, Works Progress Administration (WPA) workers began creating an inventory of church archives throughout South Carolina. Along the way, they collected information on the architecture of each church, the church history, and listings of any known church records. These original inventory sheets are held in the Manuscripts Division of the South Carolina Library and other institutions, and they were recently digitized by the Digital Archives Department at the University of South Carolina. First-time visitors can browse through the church archives, or they can perform detailed searches if they are looking for something specific. Drop-down menus on the site allow visitors to also browse African American churches specifically. For anyone with an interest in religious history, African American studies, or South Carolina history, this site is particularly valuable. [KMG]

Cornell University's Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic

In many parts of the United States, plants are packing it in for winter, but the plant disease diagnostic clinic at Cornell University can still provide some answers to houseplant and greenhouse questions. Bookmark the site for when the growing season brings all sorts of plant troubles. The Clinic works closely with the "Cornell Cooperative Extension" county offices. The range of plants they can offer diagnostic services for is wide, including "Field Crops", "Fruits", "Turf", and "Annuals & Herbaceous Perennials". The other categories they address are on the left hand side of the menu. Samples of diseased plants can be mailed in or brought in, and examined for a fee. Instructions on proper care and packaging of the sample, as well as fees charged for the different types of samples, can be found in the links, "Fees" and "Sample Submission", at the bottom of the page. Visitors should not miss the glossary of "Plant Pathological Terms" that can be located in a link at the bottom of the page. The glossary includes audio pronunciations of the words, and some are even accompanied by photos or drawings of the concept. [KMG]

To find this resource and more high-quality online resources in math and science visit Scout's sister site - AMSER, the Applied Math and Science Educational Repository at

FAO: Food Safety and Quality [pdf]

The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations website provides the data, research, publications, and projects that they have compiled, undertaken, published, and funded with the aims of making food production safer for consumers, workers, and the community. The website can be viewed in English, Spanish, and French, and the "Publications" can also be viewed in those three languages. The multitude of papers, books, documents, studies, etc. available from the Food Quality and Standards Services (AGNS) can be accessed using the "Publications" tab near the top of the page. Visitors can browse the 220 documents by title, date, or series number, or they can do a specific search by clicking on "New Search", on the right side of the page. A specific search can be done by country, language, year, title, or author. The "Biotechnology (GM food)" section on the left hand of the homepage will be of particular interest to those visitors concerned about the "Detection of GM food", "Safety Assessment of GM food", and the "Labelling of GM food". [KMG]

A "feminist Google" is one way the website has been described. The site is full of resources and information for women around the world, and the offerings here address topics that include women's equality, justice, wellness, and safety. The advisory board of the site contains some familiar names of women known for speaking out on many societal concerns, including Gloria Steinem, Alice Walker, Jane Fonda, and Margaret Cho. The "News" section of the website, accessible from the menu of links across the top, or at the top left side of the homepage, is divided into "Exclusive New Stories" from the "Women's Media Center", "Columns", and "Featured News Headlines". Next to the column of news items is a long list of links to other feminist news websites and blogs. The "Events" link, on the menu across the top of the page, is a great way for visitors to find out about feminist events around the country, including art exhibits, conferences, and seminars. Also featured on the same page is a short list of links to other sites that list feminist events. [KMG]

"Abundant Life To All": The Y.W.C.A. of the U.S.A.

The Young Woman's Christian Association (Y.W.C.A) may not have a catchy song written about it, but the Y.M.C.A.'s sister organization does promote leadership and aims to be a "membership-directed organization for 'all kinds of women and girls.'" Smith College, in Massachusetts, has the collection of historical records of the Y.W.C.A. of the USA, and has created an online exhibit of such materials. The exhibit is divided into three categories accessible by the links at the bottom of the page. The categories are "Interracial Education", "Christian Faith and Social Action", and "Industrial Awakening". The materials, such as posters, flyers, pamphlets, photos and news articles can be found alongside the text of each category's page, and can be clicked on for an enlargement of the image. The "Additional Sources" link, at the bottom of the page, offers web sources, including other Y.W.C.A. material from the collection at Smith College, many books for general reading about the Y.W.C.A., as well as books and online resources about the three categories addressed on this website. [KMG]

General Interest

Salzburg Global Seminar

The Salzburg Global Seminar's mission is "to challenge present and future leaders to solve issues of global concern." To fulfill this mission, the Seminar invites imaginative thinkers to come together and share ideas through a variety of meetings, talks, and group discussions. On their website, visitors can learn about their annual seminars, and also read about their "Initiatives", which include work on African agriculture and strengthening independent media. Within each of these "Initiatives", visitors can read blog posts, learn about their strategy meetings, and also download recent press releases. Other highlights of the site include the "Podcasts" area. Here visitors can find tremendously interesting talks from experts on subjects such as the search for renewable energy sources, the international legal system, and global media development. Finally, the site is rounded out by the "Latest Videos" area, which features commentary on the role of women in international development programs and the future of independent media. [KMG]

To find this resource and more high-quality online resources in math and science visit Scout's sister site - AMSER, the Applied Math and Science Educational Repository at

LIVE from the NYPL [Real Player, Windows Media Player]

The fantastic New York Public Library does it again with this most diverse and thoughtful site. The website shows their impressive offerings of upcoming live talks as well as providing their archived talks. Some of the upcoming guests that are featured are Ira Glass, Barbara Kingsolver, William Grimes, and Javier Marias. Fortunately, visitors who aren't in New York City won't miss out on these great programs, because the past LIVE shows can be accessed by clicking on the "Past Programs" link in the left hand menu. The archived shows are from Spring and Fall 2005-2009, and are available as audio, video, or both. The current programs become available to listen or watch a few weeks after the original program. Transcripts are also available for some events, and they can be found in the "Transcripts" link on the left hand menu. The intriguing series, first broadcast during the month of June 2009, titled "Muslim Voices: Arts and Ideas" is a good place to start. Visitors can enter Muslim Voices in the search box at the top left hand of the page to find all LIVE programs that were part of the celebration. [KMG]

Jack L. Demmons/Bonner School Photographs

The University of Montana's Mansfield Library website offers a collection of photos of life in Montana from the late 1800s to the 1950s. Interestingly, the "photographs were used extensively in historic research required by the Superfund law when the Milltown Reservoir was designated a Superfund site in early 1980." Visitors can browse the 1760 item collection via the "Montana Memory Project" link near the top of the page. Those who want to search the collection can use the drop down boxes below the browse link, and choose "Search All Words", "Search Any Word", or "Match Exact Phrase". Interested users can retrieve over 100 photos of saw mills and copper mills simply by putting mill in the "search any word" drop down box on the homepage. The importance of the mill in the community is evident where the mill is identified in photos even when only the tiniest sliver of it is visible. [KMG]

Route 66 in Arizona: Don't Forget Winona!

You don't ever want to forget Winona, and with this timely digital exhibit on the lore and history of Route 66, it would be hard to do so. Created by the staff at Northern Arizona University's Cline Library, this website complements an in situ exhibit on this fabled highway. The site starts off with a brief introduction titled "Why Route 66?", and visitors should wind their way through the "Interactive Map" as well. This feature is a true gem, as it consists of a "mash-up" with a Google Map of the highway and historic and contemporary images, such as the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona. Visitors should also listen to some of the oral histories offered here, and then look over the bibliography for additional readings. [KMG]

North Carolina Architects & Builders

Kendall B. Waitt, Dave Dickinson, and Hill C. Linthicum are just a few of the notable architects profiled in this biographical dictionary created by the North Carolina State University Libraries. The site serves as a digital companion to the 1990 book "Architects and Builders in North Carolina: A History of the Practices of Building". As a whole, this site is a "growing reference work that contains brief biographical accounts, building lists, and bibliographical information about architects, builders, and other artisans who planned and built North Carolina's architecture." Currently, the site contains several hundred profiles, and by the time the project is finished, there will be around 500 to 600 entries on this site. The homepage contains sample entries, a "Notable Quotes" area, and a search engine prefaced with the words "Start Exploring". Visitors can also use the "Building Index" to learn who built any number of prominent and lesser-known buildings in the Tar Heel State. [KMG]

World Bank Integrity [pdf]

Created as part of the World Bank Group, the Integrity Vice Presidency "independently investigates allegations of corruption and fraud." On their homepage, much of the material is covered within three primary sections: "Fighting Fraud & Corruption", "Investigating Staff Misconduct", and "Allegations". In the "Fighting Fraud & Corruption" area, visitors can learn about completed investigations and learn about the outcomes, which in many cases include sanctions and debarments. Moving on, the "Investigating Staff Misconduct" area includes information about recent investigations into partner organizations who have worked with the World Bank in the past and alleged abuses regarding travel fraud, abuse of authority, and corruption within infrastructure projects. Visitors may also wish to scroll down on the homepage to look over their annual report and check out news updates. [KMG]

Nevada in Maps

If you're looking for the road to Winnemucca by way of Elko, look no further than this engaging website created by the Digital Projects group at the University of Nevada, Reno Libraries. The original focus of their first digital map site was a collection of historic maps of Nevada, and this has been expanded to include over 4,000 maps. With this expansion, visitors can now find contemporary maps of Nevada, side by side with other thematic mining, geologic, and topographic maps. Interested parties can click on the "View the collections" area to browse through various collections, or they can elect to search the maps by keyword. One notable resource is the "Highway maps (1917-2005)" collection, which dramatically charts the growth of roads across the state during this busy period of construction and expansion. [KMG]

Network Tools

Auslogics Disk Defrag

When a hard drive is running slowly, it's usually time to think about running a disk defragmentation program. Auslogics Disk Defrag is a good option, and with their drop-down menus, it's easy to look over the drives' condition, and then view the program's progress to keep track of how much of the drive is fragmented. After each defrag session is completed, an HTML report is generated for reference use. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 2003 and newer. [KMG]

DocPad 8.0

While Notepad is a suitable text editor for some, DocPad 8.0 has some novel features that make it worth a closer look. DocPad 8.0 allows users the option to change text case, indent text blocks, and also even alphabetize paragraphs. The application also includes a built-in calculator, calendar, and character map. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 95 and newer. [KMG]

In The News

As the price of gold continues to rise, prospectors return to the Golden State to find a fortune

New California gold rush reaches fever pitch

Gold panners digging up a new income in Mariposa County

Gold Panning Instructions

N.A. Chandler California Gold Rush Era Letters

Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park

New Georgia Encyclopedia: Gold Rush

In these lean times, Americans have turned to a variety of income-generating schemes in order to make ends meet. One rather unusual pursuit that is gaining popularity after decades of general decline is gold panning. The price of gold is currently over $1,000 an ounce, and that has people heading for the rivers and streams of California in a way that hasn't been seen since the fabled Gold Rush of 1849. This year, almost 24,000 gold mining permits have been filed with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management for California, and it would seem that there's no end in sight. Most of these nouveau prospectors have their eyes set on the Sierra streambeds that lead from Sutter Creek to Jamestown. Their numbers include one Janet Gilray, an elementary school teacher in Indianapolis, who took a long journey out to the Golden State and has had some modest success during her time spent with a pan in her hand. Local prospector and gold panning supply specialist Brent Shock says that when people ask him about how to find gold, he's glad to help, but that he also reminds prospectors that, "The merchants were the ones who really made the money in that last big gold rush of 1849, and that's a lesson to remember." [KMG]

The first link leads to a piece from this Sunday's San Francisco Chronicle about this mini-gold rush that has enveloped California as of late. The second link will take visitors to a piece from the Merced Sun-Star that talks about the influx of gold seekers in Mariposa County. Moving along, the third link leads to a set of detailed gold panning instructions (complete with videos) from prospector Dave McCracken. The fourth link leads to a collection of letters penned by one Newton Amos Chandler when he was living around the mining camps of California in the 1850s and 1860s. Persons bitten by the travel bug will want to click on over to the fifth link, as it leads to the homepage of the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park in Coloma. The last link leads to an article from the New Georgia Encyclopedia on the nation's first true gold rush, which took place in northern Georgia in 1829. [KMG]

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