The Scout Report -- Volume 16, Number 10

March 12, 2010

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

Teaching Images Digital Experiences

The Teaching, Images & Digital Experiences website (TIDES) was started in 2002 by a team at the Steen Library at Stephen F. Austin State University. Since its inception, the collection focused on the "rich historical, cultural, and scientific resources held in Texas and Mexican libraries, museums, archives, historical societies, University Research collections, private collections, state parks and wildlife preserves." These resources are all accompanied by "custom-made, standards based K-12 curriculum material and are freely available to teachers, students, and researchers." The resources found on the site include 17,000 primary source documents and 150 lesson plans. The materials found by clicking on "K-12 Teachers" are contained within two primary sections, including "Lesson Plans" and "Virtual Expeditions". The "Lesson Plans" are divided into different grade levels, and visitors will find lesson plans (complete with standards, procedures, and materials) on Julius Caesar, the Mayan people, cell structure, and how to create a visual essay. Additionally, visitors can use the "TIDES Database" link to search through all of the primary source materials on the site. [KMG]

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe: Statistical Database

As anyone who does comparative social science research knows, finding reliable data sources in one place can be a difficult task. Fortunately, there is the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). On the UNECE website, visitors can find data related to macroeconomics, gender, and transport for all of the countries in Europe. First time visitors may want to start by reading the "About this database" overview, and then taking a look at the summary statistics for the past several years in the "Facts and Figures" area. Moving on, visitors can view tables and statistics that relate to industrial production, price indices, forest resources, and biological diversity. Visitors to the site can also register for free to create their own comparative data tables and save them for future use and consultation. Also, visitors can view the UNECE document library and look over a list of related links. [KMG]

ChemEd DL [Flash Player, pdf]

The Chemistry Educational Digital Library (ChemEd DL) was created to serve as a "destination for digital content intended for chemical science education." The partners responsible for this digital portal include the National Science Digital Library (NSDL), the Journal of Chemical Education, and The Chemistry Collective. The homepage has sections that are titled with playful directives: "Observe!", "Explore!", and "Explain!" Each of these sections contains helpful images and videos that can be used as stand-alone interactive activities, or they can be incorporated into a classroom setting. At the top of the homepage, visitor can use the "Collections" area to make their way through data-driven exercises, digital demonstrations, and "living textbooks". Additionally, the "Communities" area features smaller discrete communities that deal with the teaching of physical chemistry, organic chemistry, and general chemistry. [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

Abraham Lincoln Association Publications

The University of Michigan libraries website has a large digital collection of work about Abraham Lincoln which was originally published by the Abraham Lincoln Association (ALA). As stated on the ALA website the mission of The Abraham Lincoln Association is "to preserve and make more accessible the landmarks associated with his life, and to actively encourage, promote, and aid the collection and dissemination of authentic information regarding all phases of his life and career." Visitors will find that the ALA has succeeded in their goal when they "Browse" the volumes of work available in electronic form on this site. There are "The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, 1953", "The Abraham Lincoln Association Serials", which includes "The Abraham Lincoln Quarterly, 1940-1952", "Bulletin of the Abraham Lincoln Association, 1923-1939", "Lincoln Centennial Association Addresses, 1909-1918", and the "Lincoln Monographs". In addition to browsing the volumes, visitors can perform "Simple Searches", "Boolean Searches" and "Proximity Searches". [KMG]

Measuring Underemployment Among Military Spouses [pdf]

What is it like to be a military spouse? It can present some rather unique challenges including underemployment. This 111-page report by researchers Nelson Lim and David Schulker on underemployment among military spouses was sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the work was conducted in the RAND National Defense Research Institute. The work examines the extent and causes of underemployment among military spouses, and it also looks at their "look-alikes", who in this case happen to be a group of similar civilian wives. Their research indicates that military wives are much more likely not to be in the labor force, and they are also more likely to have relatively high levels of education for their jobs when compared to their civilian counterparts. Visitors will want to read over all seven chapters of the report, and they can also consult the indices, graphs, and helpful charts. [KMG]

South Asian Oral History Project [pdf]

Oral histories are an important way of telling a community's history, and this intriguing project from the University of Washington Libraries sheds new light on a very interesting aspect of history in the Pacific Northwest. The goal of the South Asian Oral History Project (SAOHP) is "to record pan-South Asian immigrant experiences in the Pacific Northwest using the medium of oral history." The project began in 2005, and the interviews here include immigrants who moved to the area from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka from the 1950s to the present. Visitors can view transcripts of the interviews at their leisure, and good background material can be found in the section titled "A librarian's gift: Oral history project preserves memories of South Asian immigrants". The interviews are quite fascinating, and they include memories of studying at the University of Washington, attending the1962 Seattle World's Fair, and the challenges immigrants faced when they arrived. [KMG]

Family Learning Forum [pdf]

How do families learn together when they come to a museum? It's a little-explored question, and one that staff members at the USS Constitution Museum in Boston were interested in exploring. In 2004, they started the Family Learning Project with support via a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to explore this matter, along with looking at effective, low-cost exhibit techniques. The museum studied their own "Sailors Speak" exhibition, in order to answer questions that included: "What kinds of historical text could engage families most effectively?" A basic overview of their mission can be found in the "About" area, and then visitors will want to look over their findings in sections like "10 Steps to Encourage Family Learning" and "Developing Content to Engage Families". [KMG]

Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History: Digital Collections

Working with a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, staff members at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and graduate students from Wayne State University have created a treasure trove of thoughtful digital exhibits and collections. Visitors might want to start with the "Virtual Exhibitions" area, which includes the arresting "Women of A New Tribe" collection. This particular collection features 75 photographs by Jerry Taliaferro of women from both the Detroit area and the rest of the United States. After looking these over, users should go over to the "Sam Vinegar Collection". Here they will find formal mounted images from a postcard series of Africa and publicity photos of African American performers. For those who wish to navigate in another fashion, the "Tags" area on the left-hand side of the page features a list of tags, including "Detroit", "Civil Rights", and "Musicians". [KMG]

General Interest

Voices from Afghanistan

The Library of Congress has a wonderful and timely exhibit featured on their website that allows the world to hear from the people of war-torn Afghanistan. Their voices are heard in the letters that they wrote to Radio Azadi, the Afghan outlet for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. There are many themes expressed in the letters, but what can be found throughout is that there is some joy in their lives, despite everything, and that there are many similarities between the desires, hopes and fears of Afghanis, and those of people of any other country. That may sound clich, but helping to resolve conflict there depends in part on how Afghans are viewed by the rest of the world. This enlightening exhibit has two "Featured Items" of particular cultural interest, which are "The Tradition of Accordion Books" and "The Tradition of Scrolls." The links to these two items are on the homepage, near the bottom part of the page. The "Themes" area, found in the middle of the page, combines the letters into groups. The thematic groups include "Requests for Action & Assistance", "The Question of Employment" and "Crossing the Technology Frontier". [KMG]

Department of Defense Social Media Hub

What does the world of social media mean to the Department of Defense? Quite a bit, as it turns out. The growth of online social-networking devices and other related technologies offers great possibilities for communicating with the global public, but there are also "real risks to personal and network security." This site brings together helpful content related to these matters, including best practices, how-to explanations, and a blog. On the homepage, visitors can learn about the official Department of Defense policy governing the use of social media by employees, read Twitter updates, and also watch videos. Visitors can also navigate through the "Games" section to play fun games that teach users important lessons about how to stay safe and secure while using the Internet. The "Videos" area contains links to updates about subjects like the use of social media in the battlefield to communicate with family members and matters of particular importance to veterans. [KMG]

The Frank M. Hohenberger Photograph Collection

In 1963, the Indiana University Foundation was willed the 19,000 item photographic collection, work diary, correspondence, and newspaper articles of photographer and journalist Frank M. Hohenberger. He was famous for photographing and writing about Brown County, Indiana, and this work was an integral part of his Indianapolis Star column "Down in the Hills O' Brown County" and its accompanying photographs. The homepage of the collection has links to "Browse the Collection" and "Search the Collection", but also includes a link to the "Introduction to Frank M. Hohenberger's Indiana Photographs", a book edited by Cecil K. Byrd. When browsing the collection of images, visitors can choose from series' divided by size of photo, a location, or subject matter, such as "Birds, Animals" or "Winter". Visitors interested in going to Brown County to see how it has changed, or in some cases, stayed the same, should click on the "Brown County Convention and Visitors Bureau" link near the bottom of the homepage. [KMG]

Museum of Contemporary Art: Podcasts [iTunes]

The podcasts available on the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago's website offer "Exhibition Audio Tours", "Talks and Discussions" and "Educator Salons"; something for everyone. Each podcast can be listened to online, or downloaded for later listening. Helpfully, each of the podcasts is divided into smaller "Entries", so visitors can pick and choose which parts of the podcast they would like to hear. The "Exhibition Audio Tours" includes a podcast entitled "Artists in Depth", which features curators and preparators of the MCA discussing several artists' works in an exhibition, including "Leon Golub Reclining Youth", "Bruce Nauman Elliot's Stones", and "Cindy Sherman Untitled #153". The "Educator Salons" podcasts are designed to "engage teachers in explorations of timely pedagogical issues, provide access to provocative speakers, and promote an open exchange among peers and colleagues." The podcasts appear to do just that, judging by the following podcasts "Deciphering Otherness: A Celebration of Contemporary Identity", "The 21st Century Learning Environment: Fresh Ideas, New Contexts", and "TEACHER DISPOSITIONS: The process and practice of teacher leadership". Visitors can also click on the orange "+ View Full Archive" at the top of each type of podcast for many more interesting discussions. [KMG]

Dayton C. Miller Flute Collection

The online presentation of the Miller Flute Collection in the Music Division of the Library of Congress has images of over 1,500 instruments, as well as a 17th-century flageolet tutorial. There is also an impressive array of "Special Presentations", which vary from an explanation what constitutes a flute, in "Flute Misnomers" and "Fife vs. Band Flute" to "Books, Tutors and Patents", which has a link to the images of the book "The Pleasant Companion: Or New Lessons and Instructions for the Flagelet". In the "Understanding the Collection" section of the homepage, there is the "Catalog of the Wind Instruments in the Dayton C. Miller Collection", which helpfully offers "Conventions and Definitions", "Transverse Flute Elements Named in This Catalog" and "Key and Key Mounting Nomenclature" to help researchers and the public better understand the materials available in this great collection. The "Collection Connections" link, also in "Understanding the Collection", is a resource for teachers that, among other things, names the historical eras that are represented in the flute collection, and provides links to "Related Collections and Exhibits" on the American Memory website. [KMG]

The Reverend Claude L. Pickens, Jr. Collection on Muslims in China

During his long life, the Reverend Claude L. Pickens, Jr. spent many years as a Christian missionary in China. Working with his wife, Elizabeth, he maintained a particular interest in China's Muslim population. Pickens spent time in central China as the Canon of St. Paul's Cathedral, and he also spent time making surveys of Muslims in northwest China, northeast Tibet, and Inner Mongolia. This digital collection brings together over 1000 photos taken by Pickens during his travels through the region in the 1920s and 1930s. Visitors should start their journey by reading the "Biographical Note" on Pickens, and then giving the finding aid a quick look. The photographs can be viewed via Harvard's VIA catalog, and they just need to search on the name Claude L. Pickens. Overall, the collection provides a fascinating look into this very intriguing facet of Chinese cultural and social history. [KMG]

Hogenberg: Franz and Abraham Hogenberg Engravings
The Princeton University Library was the recipient of 1986 graduate Bruce Willsie's collection of 155 engravings, from the Geschichtsbltter (History Sheets) published between 1570 and 1610. The engravings, by Franz and Abraham Hogenberg depict the Eighty Years War of 1568-1648, and have been made accessible online by the Princeton University Library Digital Collections. Visitors should click on the "Collection Images" link in the middle of the homepage to access the detailed images. The images are shown one by one as the default, but can also be viewed as thumbnails by clicking on the button with the grid on it, below the written menu. Although the titles of each engraving are in Dutch, the descriptions are in English. Each engraving of a scene from the War depicts a distinct event, and offers much for visitors to peruse with abundant detail. Visitors should not miss zooming in on any of the images to see them in detail. Users can use the cross of double-headed arrows to interact with the image as well. Item 147, "Arnheim/Knodsenbrug/Nijmwegen" is a great example of the engraving skills involved in the depiction of the soldiers' uniforms and equipment. [KMG]

MoMa: William Kentridge [Flash Player]

Originally organized at the San Francisco MoMA, and mentioned in the May 1, 2009 Scout Report, this exhibition of work by South African artist William Kentridge has now moved on to New York City's MoMA. Like the San Francisco version, the New York show is arranged into 5 themes, and includes video documenting the artist's process, but the web interface of the New York show is different enough to be worth another look. The 5 themes: Ubu and the Procession, 1989 - 2002; Soho and Felix, 1989 - 2003; Artist in the Studio, 1998 - 2006; The Magic Flute, 2003 - 2007; and The Nose, 2007 - 2010, are presented as a kind of spider-webbed, overlapping, organic diagram. Rather than moving linearly, visitors can jump from area to area. What initially seems like an interesting sidelight - Kentridge did the stage design and directed a 2005 production of Mozart's "the Magic Flute" - is therefore shown in closer relationship to the rest of the artist's work. [DS]

Network Tools

WinUtilities Free Edition 9.44

Installing and uninstalling various programs can leave behind annoying detritus on a computer, and WinUtilities can help out with this predicament. The application brings together a number of tools designed to free up disk space and improve overall system performance. The application includes a "One-Click Maintenance" feature, and visitors can also use the application to shred files, locate duplicate files, and schedule various maintenance tasks. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 2003 and newer. [KMG]

Courseware 1.1.2

The Center for History and New Media at George Mason University is always working on new projects, and their Courseware plug-in for Word Press is worth a look. Visitors can use this latest version of Courseware to publish class schedules, assignments, and bibliographies. Courseware is primarily intended for use by the higher education community, but it could easily be used in high school classrooms or other collaborative environments. This version is compatible with all operating systems, including Linux. [KMG]

In The News

Noted architect Bruce Graham, designer of Sears Tower, passes away

Bruce Graham, architect behind nation's tallest building, dies at 84

Legendary Architect Bruce J. Graham Dies

Chicago Tribune Profile: Bruce Graham [pdf]

Biography and oral history: Bruce Graham

Willis Tower

Chicago Landmarks

American architects who came of age professionally after World War II had much to grapple with as they started a career. The presence and legacy of Frank Lloyd Wright loomed large on the horizon, and there was also a greater movement towards what is known as Modernism. Architect Bruce Graham was one of these post-war masters, and he passed away this past Saturday at his home in Hobe Sound, Florida. Graham was born in Bogot, Columbia and grew up in Puerto Rico. After serving in the US Navy during World War II he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1948. He joined the prodigious firm of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM), and some of his notable works during the next three decades included the Inland Steel Building, the John Hancock Tower, and the Sears (Willis) Tower. Graham extended the 19th century ideal of the "Chicago School of Architecture", as his work reflected his belief that buildings should reflect their cities and that they should also stand the test of time. [KMG]

The first link will take visitors to an obituary of Graham which originally appeared in the Chicago Tribune this Tuesday. The second link leads to an official press release from SOM that talks about Graham's work at the firm and his many civic contributions to Chicago. Moving on, the third link leads to an excellent profile of Graham written by Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn back in 1981. The fourth link leads to a biography of Graham and a very extensive interview which was conducted by the Art Institute of Chicago. The fifth link leads to the official homepage of the Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears Tower when it was completed in 1973. The last link leads to the homepage of the Chicago Landmarks Commission, which contains information about all of the protected buildings and districts in the Windy City.

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