The Scout Report -- Volume 17, Number 2

January 14, 2011

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

The Bob Simms Collection: An Activist's Life and Legacy

Born in Snow Hill, Alabama in 1927, Bob Simms moved to South Florida in 1953 and became an integral part of the community in the region. Over his long career, he served as the executive director of the Miami Dade Community Relations Board and also worked to create the Miami Inner-City Minority Experience. This digital collection from the University of Miami Libraries documents Simms' work with the Community Relations Board and the Defense Race Relations Institute. Here visitors can look over photographs, documents, awards, and publications that provide insight into his long career in South Florida. The sections here include "Maps", "Timeline", and "Bibliography". These are really the supplementary areas, as the eight chronologically arranged sections provide insights into Simms' different activities during his distinguished career. These chronological sections include "The Simms Family", "Community Relation", and "Glory in the Grove". Finally, visitors can also use the "Bibliography" to look for other items related to the African American experience in the 20th century. [KMG]

Media Awareness Network [pdf]

Created in 1996, the Media Awareness Network (MNet) is a Canadian non-profit organization that works on the development of media literacy and digital literacy programs. The basic premise behind MNet is to equip adults with information and tools "to help young people understand how the media work, how the media may affect their lifestyle choices and the extent to which they, as consumers and citizens, are being well informed." First-time visitors to the site will want to start by looking over the "Spotlight" area. Here they will find information about new additions to the site, including their latest newsletter. Moving on, the "For Teachers" area includes lesson plans to help teach young people about body image, movies, music, and other topics depicted in the media. Teachers can also learn about the importance of teaching media literacy, and also search for lessons by grade and subject. In the "For Parents" section, interested parties can read e-tutorials about keeping up with their children's online activities and also look through helpful educational games. The site is rounded out by their blog and a link to information about their special initiatives. [KMG]

Western Silent Films Lobby Card Collection

For decades, movie theaters were able to draw people in for a closer look at their current offerings via the use of large posters and lobby cards. For those who are intrigued by such advertising devices, Yale University's Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library has digitized this fine collection of lobby cards designed to promote silent and western films in the first several decades of the 20th century. Visitors can view all 106 items here, and, all told, they promote a grand total of 68 different films. It's easy enough to perform a keyword search across all of the images, or visitors can see all of the images at one time. To get started, take a look at the rather dramatic image for "The Mollycoddle" and the tense scene depicted on the card for "The Bandit Buster". Visitors can zoom in on each image, and it's fun to scan through the details. [KMG]

Structurally Unbalanced: Cyclical and Structural Deficits in California and the Intermountain West [pdf]

State budgets are a serious problem for most states, and the states in the Mountain West area are no exception. This 26-page brief was created by staff members at The Brookings Institution and the Morrison Institute for Public Policy at Arizona State University and released in January 2011. The brief takes a close look at the fiscal situation in Arizona, California, Colorado, and Nevada and examines the states' serious cyclical budget shortfalls. The study draws on a unique methodology to estimate the size of the state's structural deficits, along with exploring the mix of forces that created them. Along with offering some concrete steps on how policymakers might close their current budget gaps, the study also includes a specific "drill-down" on the very precarious situation in Arizona. [KMG]

The Knight Center For Digital Media Entrepreneurship [pdf]

Based at Arizona State University, the Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship helps students learn more about the world of entrepreneurship in the 21st century. On their homepage, visitors can read the Center's Twitter feed to learn more about what Center affiliates and others are reading and talking about. Moving along, the materials on the site are divided into nine key areas, including "Showcase", "Blog", "Resources", and "News". The "Showcase" area features recent student projects completed under the auspices of the Center. They include "CityCircles" which is an information platform designed for the Phoenix-area-light-rail community and "Blimee" which utilizes digital signage to bring hyperlocal news and promotions to people when they are outside of their home environments. In the "Resources" area visitors can look over their links to other relevant digital media sites, including helpful reviews of digital tools and links to like-minded entrepreneurship organizations. [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

Invitation to World Literature

Some readers may not need an invitation to world literature, but this very interesting and thoughtful website created by Annenberg Media offers the welcoming embrace of such works as the Bhagavad Gita and the epic of Gilgamesh. The site complements a 13-part video series, which offers up literature from "a range of eras, places, cultures, languages, and traditions." Your host for this adventure is Professor David Damrosch, and performers and artists such as Kristin Chenoweth, Philip Glass, and Wole Soyinka join him. The texts explored here include "My Name is Red" by Orhan Pamuk, "Candide" by Voltaire, and "Things Fall Apart" by Chinua Achebe. For each text, visitors can watch the 30-minute corresponding program, read selections from each work, and also explore the historical and cultural context of each work through interactive maps and other features. [KMG]


The tagline of the MarineBio site is "sharing the wonders of the ocean to inspire conservation, education, education, research, and a sea ethic." It's a well-thought out statement of purpose and direction, and they have a cornucopia of material on various marine species, ocean conservation, research projects, and habitat conservation. First-time visitors to the site will note that there are fifteen sections along the left-hand side of the site that include "A Sea Ethic", "Marine Biodiversity", and "Alien Species". The "Ocean Life News" area of the site is a fine way to stay abreast with current developments dealing with the world's oceans. Moving along, visitors can use two drop-down menus on the homepage to learn about key marine species. The site is rounded out by the "Deep Resources" area, which is a clearinghouse of information and academic resources that include relevant journals and online databases. [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

Schools That Work [pdf]

Schools That Work is a part of Edutopia, which is funded by the George Lucas Educational Foundation and aims to give students a 21st-century education. Schools That Work is described as a "movement for change", and their website is designed to help "principals and teachers, parents and students, and schools and districts collaborate to change the futures of their young people." On the site, visitors can find lesson plans and teacher training tools to help implement the changes needed for a "school that works". One of the high school programs featured is "Merging Career Tech and College Prep", which was tried in three schools in California. Visitors can get the details on the program on the homepage, in addition to other features that include The Online Learning Revolution, and College Bound Culture. Clicking on any feature on the homepage will take visitors to a more detailed examination. The "How YOU Do It" menu, found on the right side of the feature page, takes visitors through the steps needed to implement the program. Some of the topics covered are "Ten Tips to Get Going", "Creating Industry Partnerships", and "Funding the Start-Up". [KMG]

General Interest

Obsidian Mirror-Travels: Refracting Ancient Mexican Art and Archaeology

The relationship between Mexican art and their creators is the focus of this exhibit created by the Getty Museum. Designed to complement an in situ exhibit, the online version brings together ancient Mexican books, the Aztec calendar stone, and colonial objects from Spanish Mexico. All of the items in the exhibition were created over the past five hundred years by "explorers, archaeologists, and artists who have in one way or another used Mexico's Pre-Columbian past as a vehicle for their journeys." Visitors can wind their way through the eleven sections of the exhibit, which include "Panoramas", "French Intervention", and "Through the Obsidian Mirror". Each section contains a brief text passage, along with representative items which illuminate the thematic focus discussed within. [KMG]

Rammer Jammer

The phrase "Rammer Jammer" is a curious one, though it may be well known to fans of the University of Alabama's football team. It is a common cheer used by the Crimson Tide during away football games, and its name is derived from the school's celebrated humor and literary magazine. First published in 1924, the Rammer Jammer captured the zeitgeist of campus life through jokes, articles, cartoons, and photographs. The roster of Rammer Jammer alums is quite impressive, and it includes Harper Lee, Gay Talese, Vic Gold, and Grover Smith. Recently, the University of Alabama Libraries digitized the complete run of the Rammer Jammer, and visitors can chuckle along with the issues in the comfort of their living room, coffee shop, or smart phone. A good issue to start with is the March 1940 edition, which includes pieces like "Reels, Records and Radio" and "'Bama-No Playground". [KMG]

Binding Wounds, Pushing Boundaries: African Americans in Civil War Medicine

The U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) has created this arresting and stimulating digital exhibition to complement a traveling exhibit that is making its rounds across the country. The exhibition is designed to explore the contributions that African Americans made during the Civil War as nurses, surgeons, and hospital workers. Visitors who click on the "Exhibition" button can view images and primary documents culled from the NLM's archive which include historic photographs, personal letters, and diagrams of Civil War hospital facilities and camps. There are many compelling stories here, including tales about Susie King Taylor, a former slave who became a caregiver for the 1st South Carolina Colored Volunteers. [KMG]

The Food Museum

The website for the Food Museum Online is loaded with exhibits, and it merits several visits. Lively historic and contemporary drawings, photos, and videos populate the lengthy homepage of this New Mexico-based site about the origins of foods, food issues, food advertising, and foods in other countries. Visitors can find the newest exhibit at the top of the homepage, which is called "Feast or Famine", and addresses the paradox of the one billion people whom are malnourished in the world, and the one billion that are overnourished or obese. Visitors can find related exhibits, "Eating Disorders" and "School Lunch Reform", as links at the end of the Feast or Famine exhibit. The "Watermelon" exhibit, about halfway down the homepage, includes the history of watermelons, comparisons against other types of melons, botanical drawings, watermelon-themed toys, a postcard, a Japanese woodcut, and a link to guidance in choosing a ripe watermelon. Visitors shouldn't miss the multimedia exhibit, "Making Crepes: Then & Now", which includes a 30-second video of a cook using a French Crepmatic, which produces a square (rather than round) crepe. [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

Birth Defects Research For Children [pdf]

The organization, Birth Defects Research For Children, was founded by the parents of a child who was born with defects due to a medication taken by the mother when she was pregnant. The goals of this organization and its complementary website are to learn the causes of preventable birth defects and to educate parents about their children's birth defects, such as by matching parents up with other parents whose children have similar defects through the National Birth Defect Registry. Visitors will note that the website is divided into "Parent Services", "Research", and "Prevention". The "Parent Matching", "Support Groups", and "Family Bookstore" are all links under Parent Services that provide invaluable information and guidance. The "Research" section gives visitors the opportunity to find research studies, participate in them, and read about research being done, such as the birth defects that are being discovered in the children of Vietnam and Gulf war veterans. The "Environmental Reports" link provides visitors with a list of environmental toxins that have been "associated with adverse reproductive outcomes", such as Accutane, Dursban, Formaldehyde, and Lead. [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

Photogravure [Flash Player]

This gorgeous website is described as a "comprehensive resource dedicated to the photogravure", and its aim is to showcase the beauty and craftsmanship involved in the photographic process of photogravure. The "History" tab, found on the menu across the top of the page, provides visitors with a very thorough history "of the relationship between the evolution of photogravure, and the art of photography." Visitors should not miss the stunning Alfred Stieglitz photogravure called A "Venetian Canal", under the "Examples" tab. More Stieglitz gravures can be found in the "Explore" link that appears in front of the silhouette of the tree branches on the homepage. When visitors scroll over the branches on the right side, they will see the "Start" link to browse the searchable database. Searching under Stieglitz in the artist drop down box will take visitors to several dozen of his works, each one more arresting than the last. The gravures "New York Central Yard", "Hands, Dorothy Norman I", and "The Swimming Lesson", should not be missed. [KMG]


The Duke University Libraries has an extensive physical and online collection of advertisements that appeared in magazines and newspapers in the U.S. and Canada from 1911-1955. The Ad*Access collection focuses on advertisements in five main subject areas: Radio, Television, Transportation, Beauty and Hygiene, and World War II. Visitors should read the "About Us" section to learn about why the collection was created and its importance for research. Visitors can "browse" the collection by the aforementioned categories, product, year, and company. For example, "War Bonds" are listed under "Product", and visitors will find that the messages in war bond advertisements are quite frank, and insistent, that people should help the war effort. Visitors should check out the following ads found when browsing war bonds: "I'm Saving to go to Ag College...And Buying Bullets for Pete!", "Avenge Pearl Harbor! Buy Bonds! Give Bonds!", and "Your Bond Purchase Makes These Nazis Shiver". [KMG]

America's First Illustrator: Alexander Anderson

The New York Public Library presents this digital edition of the scrapbooks of 19th-century master illustrator Alexander Anderson. During his 70-year career, Anderson (1775-1870) created wood engravings to illustrate books, periodicals, newspapers, broadsides, and posters, based on his own designs, and the work of other artists. Some of the more prominent works illustrated by Anderson include John Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress", O.L. Holley's "Life of Benjamin Franklin", surveys of architecture, and books intended for teaching school children. This digital collection contains 1,332 of Anderson's engravings that can be browsed or searched by subject. To help interested users determine where images in the scrapbooks may have been published, titles of several major printed catalogs of Anderson's work are listed on the collection guide. [DS]

Network Tools

Poll Builder

Created by Dan Cohen for George Mason University's Center for History and New Media, this helpful application will allow users to create polls that they can embed in their web pages. Visitors can get started by choosing a background color, and then go ahead and create a poll with up to 5 possible responses. It's not a very flashy program, but it gets the job done, and it is compatible with all operating systems, including Linux. [KMG]

Photo Grabbr 1.44

Created by Andrew Tedstone, Photo Grabbr is a fine way to download photo sets of note from Flickr accounts. If you are the type of person that wants to take a closer glimpse at landscapes of Mongolia, family gatherings in Moldova, or trips to Monrovia, you'll want to give this handy application a look. This version is compatible with computers running Mac OS X 10.4 and newer. [KMG]

In The News

200,000 historic recordings are making their way to the Library of Congress

Library of Congress Gets Huge Recording Archive [Free registration may be required]

Universal Music Donating 200K Master Recordings to Library of Congress

A Digital Library Race, and Playing Catch-Up [Free registration may be required]

Performing Arts Encyclopedia

Music for the Nation

Omaha Indian Music

As the nation's repository for published works small and large (and in-between), the Library of Congress remains one of the greatest cultural assets in the United States. This venerable institution received an excellent piece of news this week when the Universal Music Group announced that it would be giving the Library approximately 200,000 metal, glass, and lacquer master discs from 1926 to 1948. Many of these rare items have been stored at Iron Mountain, a former limestone mine in Pennsylvania which holds various government and corporate records. This tremendous archive contains songs from just about every genre, including jazz, blues, light classical, and some spoken-word numbers. As part of the agreement negotiated between the Library of Congress and Vivendi (the parent company of Universal), the Library has been granted ownership of the physical discs, while Vivendi will retain the formal copyright to the music recorded on the discs. Over the coming years, the Library of Congress will preserve and digitize many of these recordings, and curious parties will be able to eventually listen to them online. Gene DeAnna, head of the recorded sound section of the Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division of the Library, remarked, "This is going to be the gift that keeps giving, that keeps our engineers and staff here busy for years. Our challenge right now is to decide where to start, because the sheer numbers are just staggering." [KMG]

The first link will take visitors to a New York Times article from Monday about this recent gift to the Library of Congress. The second link leads to a similar piece from the Hollywood Reporter. Moving along, the third link will take interested parties to a thoughtful piece from this Saturday's New York Times about the race to create an effective digital library in the United States and other nations. The fourth link leads to the Library of Congress's Performing Arts Encyclopedia. Here visitors can view digitized music collections, look over special presentations, and learn about upcoming concerts at the Library. The fifth link will take users to the Music for the Nation collection. This collection is part of the Library's American Memory Project, and visitors can peruse over 62,000 pieces of historical sheet music from 1820 to 1885. Finally, the last link leads to the remarkable Omaha Indian Music collection from the American Memory Project. Here visitors can listen to songs and speeches from the 1983 Omaha harvest celebration and listen to historic wax cylinder recordings recorded between 1892 and 1897.

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