2008-08-28

Internet Resources I didn't know about, first in an ongoing series


Public.Resource.Org
Northwest Digital Archive


Public.Resource.Org: What theses folks are doing is increadible. They are going through various government agencies, US and Canadien, and producing digital archives of their documents. Their full goals are described here, in short they are Open Government advocates, doing their best to fulfill the ideals, here expressed in my own words, "That government governs best which can hide the least" "They govern best who know the hearts and minds of their people" "Free discourse is the birthplace of understanding" "Shadows nurture secrets, secrets nurture deceit, deceit defeats freedom"

I am imputing things to them they may not 100% agree with, given my extreme cynicism, but they are striving to increase public dialogue, make materials available, and nurture government sans doors, archways being preferred, and they seek to use the Internet as an aid to this purpose. Check them out, they have major clue flags.

Digression time.

Clue Flag: A phrase developed amongst an odd group of friends in the Greater Chicagoland Area, in the early 1990s. The phrase "give the man a clue" segued into someone waving their arms in the air exclaiming they had one, a clue that is, which then morphed into waiving one's arm in like manner indicating a "Clue Flag" being present, with the more sardonic mimicking a jar of toothpicks having clue flags to pass out to the clueless. This is not quite how it happened, but it gives you a clue, yes? I don't know how prevalent this term is currently, but I like it, and this is my blog, n'est ce pas? Hmm, may not have spelled that properly, but unlike the spellchecker, I know its not Nestea pas! Just like I know walla is French, and voile part of a city name, ya know, Voile Voile, Washington?

Tough crowd tonight.

Northwest Digital Archive: Providing online access to special collections holdings information for the Greater Pacific Northwest, usually via finding aids, but in some cases the individual institutions have digitized original sources and are making them available online. A clearing house for such information, so you don't have to track down all their various websites and search them one by one, you can do it all at once. Hint: To presume a common terminology amongst these institutions is foolhardy in the extreme, so use several searches with different search terms before deciding there is nothing, or that you've found it all. While all of the member institutions have information crucial to your research which will not show up through this search, its a good place to start. While I wrote that in jest, presuming it is true won't hurt you any. And you are sure to find collections you never dreamt existed, which is a very good thing to a researcher, unless their grant is running out and is non-renewable...

General note on historical research: Who controlled an area during the time you are interested in will determine where the materials are stored. Materials relating to Washington State prior to their becoming a Territory are held in Oregon, as they were part of the Oregon Territory. The original US charter for «La Ciudad de Nuestra Senora, la Reina de los Angeles», is stored in Oregon, as that's where the closest Federal Courthouse was located; periodically the City Fathers in Los Angeles, California, get a bee in their bonnet and try to get it back, nuthin' doin' buddy, it's here and here it stays!

So don't go making assumptions about where materials will be found.

um, 12:45, lunchtime...

Post this Puppy!

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