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New & Noteworthy: History Books Hot off the Press

Every month Falvey Memorial Library acquires new history books based on faculty recommendations and curriculum needs. Some of the new titles featured in this post have been hand-picked by the Department of History. Take a quick look and maybe one of them will inspire you to read outside your area of expertise. Use the New Items search feature of the library’s catalog to browse the complete list of new history books.

hunsKim, Hyun Jin. The Huns, Rome and the Birth of Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013.
“This book argues that the steppes of Inner Asia were far from ‘backward’ and that the image of the primitive Huns is vastly misleading. They already possessed a highly sophisticated political culture while still in Inner Asia and, far from being passive recipients of advanced culture from the West, they passed on important elements of Central Eurasian culture to early medieval Europe, which they helped create.”  From the publisher’s web site.
Available online via Cambridge University Press.

thirdRabinbach, Anson, and Sander L Gilman. The Third Reich Sourcebook. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013.
The impressive selection of documents in English translation in this hefty volume (923 pages) covers all aspects of life in Nazi Germany. Its companion volume, The Weimar Republic Sourcebook is likewise available at Falvey. Both titles are part of the Weimar and Now series published by the University of California Press.

suezLaron, Guy. Origins of the Suez Crisis: Postwar Development Diplomacy and the Struggle Over Third World Industrialization, 1945-1956. Washington, D.C.: Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 2013.
Origins of the Suez Crisis describes the long run-up to the 1956 Suez Crisis and the crisis itself by focusing on politics, economics, and foreign policy decisions in Egypt, Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union. Based on Arabic source material, as well as multilingual documents from Israeli, Soviet, Czech, American, Indian, and British archives, this is the first historical narrative to discuss the interaction among all of the players involved-rather than simply British and U.S. perspectives.”  From the publisher’s web site.

ruleMcMahon, Keith. Women Shall Not Rule: Imperial Wives and Concubines in China From Han to Liao. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 2013.
“Keith McMahon, a leading expert on the history of gender in China, draws upon decades of research to describe the values and ideals of imperial polygamy and the ways in which it worked and did not work in real life. His rich sources are both historical and fictional, including poetic accounts and sensational stories told in pornographic detail. Displaying rare historical breadth, his lively and fascinating study will be invaluable as a comprehensive and authoritative resource for all readers interested in the domestic life of royal palaces across the world.”  From the publisher’s web site.

frenchParker, Lindsay A. H. Writing the Revolution: A French Woman’s History in Letters. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.
Writing the Revolution is a microhistory of a middle-class Parisian woman, Rosalie Jullien, whose nearly 1,000 familiar letters have never before been studied. […] Her correspondence allows readers to enter her private world and see the intellectual, emotional, and familial life of a revolutionary in all of its complexity.”  From the publisher’s web site.
Jullien’s letters were published in Paris in 1881 under the title Journal d’une Bourgeoise Pendant la Revolution. An English translation of her letters appeared in the same year under the title The Great French Revolution, 1785-1793. Both books are available as free PDF files on Google Books.

chicagoDurica, Paul, and Bill Savage. Chicago By Day and Night: The Pleasure Seeker’s Guide to the Paris of America. Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern University Press, 2013.
Originally published in 1892 for visitors of the 1893 World’s fair. This “unofficial guide to the world beyond the fair [describes] pleasures [that] range from the respectable (theater, architecture, parks, churches and synagogues) to the illicit – drink, gambling, and sex.” From the publisher’s web site.
A digitized version of one of the 1892 copies is freely available from Hathi Trust.

vsiLast but not least, here is a selection of recent additions to the Very Short Introductions series by Oxford University Press: The British Empire, Diaspora, Colonial America, and The Silk Road. I invite you to consult the catalog for a list of titles available at the Library. This series lives up to its promise with concise and up-to-date introductions for the neophyte.

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Medieval History Resources: News & Updates

Manchester Medieval Sources Online

elcidManchester University Press has recently expanded its well-received digital collection of medieval sources to twenty-four titles and updated its online platform. The Manchester Medieval Sources series (MMS) makes primary sources from the Middle Ages accessible to students through carefully translated and annotated editions. Among the thirteen new titles are collections of short primary sources focused on a single subject such as Popular Protest in Late Medieval Europe: Italy, France and Flanders, translated and annotated by Samuel K. Cohn, Jr., as well as single source editions such as Ottonian Germany: The Chronicon of Thietmar of Merseburg, translated and annotated by David A. Warner. Chapters can be downloaded as PDF files. MMS can be searched on the title and the collection levels. Titles can be browsed on the MMS platform as well as in the online catalog.

Brill’s Medieval Reference Library

brillFalvey has acquired three online reference titles from Brill’s Medieval Reference Library:

The Encyclopedia of Medieval Dress and Textiles in the British Isles, c. 450-1450, edited by Gale Owen-Crocker, Elizabeth Coatsworth & Maria Hayward. This resource covers all aspects of medieval textile production from weaving technology to the wimple and from sumptuary laws to fashion.
(Sample entry: Scarlet)

The Encyclopedia of Medieval Pilgrimage, edited by Larissa J. Taylor et al. Coverage extends to all aspects of medieval pilgrimage from pilgrimage sites to the economy and from pilgrimage narratives to miracles and reliquaries.
(Sample entry: Urban tourism)

The Encyclopedia of the Medieval Chronicle, edited by Graeme Dunphy. Entries cover about 2,500 medieval chronicles and chroniclers as well as layout and manuscript production.
(Sample entry: Women chroniclers and chronicles for women)

As with all online reference titles, a simple keyword search quickly retrieves the desired information. Each encyclopedia entry has a short bibliography which often lists relevant primary sources. Cross-references link to related content.
Access the online encyclopedias via the library’s catalog as well as via the  Medieval History Reference list on the history subject guide.

International Medieval Bibliography (Brepols)

Last but not least, a quick update about recent changes to the International Medieval Bibliography (IMB). To improve current and retrospective coverage, Brepols is increasing the number of new entries added from 11,000 to 16,000 per year.

brepols

A new metrics component features journal and author profiles and subject trends in medieval history. The journal profiles can identify the most suitable journals for your latest research.
If you have never set up an email alert for your favorite journals, maybe it is time to take another look. IMB will manage and email table of content alerts for your favorite journals.

Questions or comments? Contact me directly (jutta.seibert@villanova.edu) or post your comments online.

 

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WorldCat for Beginners: How to Search the Global Library

If I had to make a list of the five most important library research tools for historians, I would put WorldCat at the top of the list without a moment’s hesitation. While in the past, scholars were limited to local libraries, print bibliographies and the occasional visit to other libraries, today WorldCat provides them a gateway to the global print collection. WorldCat thus levels the playing field between the top-tiers research libraries and smaller libraries, such as Falvey Memorial Library. Our history students can discover and request basically all the published books on any given topic with the help of WorldCat. If they would only knew about WorldCat!

Remember the student who told you that there is nothing published about her topic? Did she know about and search WorldCat? Remember the student who told you that the library does not have any books about his topic? Did he know about interlibrary loan and how to request books from other libraries via WorldCat? The majority of history students are unfortunately not familiar with WorldCat, and the few who do know about it are often intimidated by some of its unnecessarily complicated search features.

Falvey’s 2012 Research Center Intern, Matt Ainslie, has put together a Brief Introduction to WorldCat, a short online video tutorial that will introduce your students to WorldCat. His Brief Introduction to the Chicago Manual of Style has been widely popular with our students. At last glance, it was viewed more than 1,200 times. Given the unexpected popularity of the Chicago Style tutorial, I would like to hear your ideas and suggestions for additional tutorials.

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Cambridge Histories Online now in Shades of Deep Purple

Cambridge University Press re-designed the interfaces of two popular reference collections: Cambridge Histories Online and Cambridge Companions Online. The old interface had various usability issues, which left the user at times frustrated. The new interface is less cluttered, more user-friendly and its attractive design and color scheme are pleasing to the eye.

Did you know that Cambridge University Press continues to add new and old print titles to the Cambridge Histories Online collection? In 2012, six back-list titles and seventeen new titles were added. Noteworthy among the new titles is The New Cambridge History of American Foreign Relations: Dimensions of the Early American Empire, 1754–1865 by William Earl Weeks, not to be confused with the 1993 volume authored by Bradford Perkins. The remaining three volumes in the series are slated for publication later this year. Forthcoming in 2013 is the second volume of the Cambridge History of Science series entitled Medieval Science. New 2012 titles include:

The interface for Cambridge Companions Online mirrors the Cambridge Histories Online interface except for the crimson color scheme. The Companions focuses on philosophy, religion, culture, literature, classics and music.

When did you last browse either one of these remarkable collections? It may be time to take a fresh look.

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JSTOR Books are now Available to Villanova Faculty and Students

JSTOR joined the ever-growing circle of e-book publishers late in 2012 starting with a collection of around 15,000 e-books from a range of well-respected university presses such as those of Penn, Yale, Princeton, Harvard, California, North Carolina and Columbia. Among them is a small number of non U.S. publishers, such as Boydell and Brewer, Edinburgh University Press and the University of Toronto Press. The complete list of available JSTOR book titles is available for review.

The Library is currently testing the e-book-publishing waters with a boutique collection of history titles. Army at Home by Judith A. Giesberg, PhD, is a familiar title here at Villanova University. While a few of the JSTOR books are duplicated in the library’s print collection, most of the JSTOR titles are new. JSTOR books owned by Villanova can be found in the library’s catalog as well as in the JSTOR database.

JSTOR books are seamlessly integrated with other JSTOR content. Just as journal content is fully searchable, so are the e-books. Search results can be filtered into results from journal articles and books simply by clicking on the newly added Book tab on the results screen. To include titles not owned by the Library in the results list, switch from “Content I can access” to “All content.” Books not available to Villanova faculty and students are identified by an X-icon next to the check box.

Each book has its own landing page with such features as stable URLs, a link to JSTOR book reviews, abstracts, the table of contents and the first 100 words of each chapter. Unfortunately, not all books are equal, and the different access options can be confusing. Some books are only available as single-user titles. Chapters from a single-user book can only be viewed by one person at a time. Downloads are available, but require registration for a free JSTOR account, and the downloaded PDF files cannot be printed. Single-user books have a security key icon on the book landing page which reminds the reader of the access limits. Multi-user books are as easy to access as JSTOR journal articles.

Use the links below to explore the different access models to JSTOR books.

A detailed overview over the JSTOR book program is available online. Questions or comments? Contact me directly (jutta.seibert@villanova.edu) or post your comments online.

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*NEW* Encyclopedia of Ancient History

The long awaited Encyclopedia of Ancient History is now available after repeated publication delays. Unparalleled in scope with over 5,000 original, peer-reviewed articles, the Encyclopedia covers subjects ranging from the ancient Near East to Pharaonic Egypt, the Roman Republic, and Late Antiquity. Five general editors, twenty-three area editors, and a total of 1,827 scholars collaborated on this project. Villanova University’s own Christopher Haas, PhD, contributed articles on Axum and Hypatia. Although available in thirteen print volumes, the Encyclopedia was conceived and planned as a digital reference work. Its content will be continually updated, and new articles will be added over time. Readers are encouraged to contact the editorial board with corrections and suggestions for additional entries.

Searching and browsing the contents of the Encyclopedia seems unnecessarily complicated. A first-time user will be tempted to simply use the search box on the start page, which will retrieve keyword matches from all Wiley-Blackwell titles. Only upon closer inspection will the reader notice the “Search in this Book” link beneath the search box. The “Find Articles” options on the left menu are barely noticeable as well. Articles are organized in twenty-two topical categories to facilitate browsing. The scope of the Encyclopedia makes it easy to compare topics between various ancient civilizations. A good example is the seven different entries on calendars.

Articles vary in length but rarely exceed ten pages. PDF files of articles are available for downloading. Each article lists references and suggested readings. A good number of references are written in foreign languages, but available English language translations are included as well. A “How to Cite” link generates a basic citation for each article. Alternatively, citations can be exported to RefWorks or EndNote. Overall, this is an excellent new reference title and a good starting point for undergraduate and graduate students alike.

You may also be interested in the following new e-reference works from the Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World Series:
A Companion to Women in the Ancient World
A Companion to the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East
A Companion to Tacitus

Questions or comments? Contact me directly (jutta.seibert@villanova.edu) or post your comments online.

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Open Access Rules in France: Persée, érudit, and revues.org

Interlibrary loan is often the only way to get hold of foreign-language-journal articles here at Villanova, given the University’s focus on undergraduate education and the limited demand for academic journals in languages other than English. The library’s foreign language subscriptions are generally only available in print, further complicating access in a time when online access is the norm. The French academic publishing environment took its time to embrace online access, but the wait was well worth it. Today the archives of a large number of humanities and social sciences journals published in France and Quebec are freely available online. Three open access platforms preserve French scholarship: Persée, érudit and revues.org. All three platforms are partially integrated with each other to improve content discovery.

Named after Perseus, the legendary hero of Greek mythology, Persée is an open access archive of French academic journals initiated by the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research in order to preserve and disseminate French scholarship. Over the years Persée has expanded to include social sciences journals, besides the original humanities journals, as well as French Canadian journals and dissertations archived on the érudit platform. Most of the journals archived in Persée have a moving access wall restricting access to current content to subscribing institutions. Persée currently archives more than 135 academic journals and over 400,000 articles, mostly in French. It indexes an additional 38 French Canadian journals which are archived on the érudit platform. Anybody with an internet connection can search the complete archive and browse individual journals.

Like Persée, revues.org is an open access journal platform. It is part of the OpenEdition portal run by the Centre pour l’édition électronique ouverte (Cléo) in Marseille. While the back issues of all 381 journals archived on this platform can be accessed freely by anyone, the access to current content of some journals is restricted to subscribers. In some cases free online access is limited to html format, and only subscribers are permitted to download articles as PDF files. The archives of some journals are divided between the Persée and revues.org platforms with the deep back files stored in Persée and the more recent years available on revues.org.

Both the Persée and the revues.org platforms include central search boxes which will search the content of all archived journals while also allowing the reader to search or browse individual journals. Aside from proper names, search terms should be entered in French since most of the publications are in French. Interested readers can bookmark their favorite journals or set up email alerts (via an RSS feeds) for new content. The journal articles archived in Persée and revues.org are at least partially indexed in various library databases, such as the International Medieval Bibliography, Historical Abstracts, and L’Année Philologique. The familiar blue Find It button will link directly to the open access journal titles archived in Persée. The library is still in the process of establishing a similar link to journals on the revues.org platform. All articles include citations with a date stamp, URL and sometimes a digital object identifier (DOI). Persée also has a citation export function which will download citation information to EndNote and RefWorks.
Most of the journals archived in Persée and revues.org are not part of the Library’s journal subscriptions, so that adding these platforms to the Library’s full-text-link service considerably expands access to foreign language journals. As for the limited number of French journals to which Falvey subscribes, among them Cahiers de Civilisation Médiévale, the Annales historiques de la Révolution française and the Revue philosophique de Louvain, adding these titles to the Library’s E-Journal Finder will increase overall accessibility.

I hope this description will encourage you to take a look at these open access journal platforms and to browse available journals in your subject area. What is your favorite open access scholarly resource? Email the name and URL directly to me (jutta.seibert@villanova.edu) or post it online, and I will feature it in a future blog post.

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New Online Tutorial on Chicago-Style Citations

Are you tired of repeating the basics of Chicago Style notes and bibliographies to your students?
Are your students confused about how to format first and subsequent notes following Chicago style?

Clear up some of your students’ confusion by referring them to Falvey’s Brief Introduction to the Chicago Manual of Style.  Research Center intern Matt Ainslie has created a brief online tutorial (4 min.) in which he demonstrates step-by-step how to cite a sample source in the first note, in subsequent notes and in the bibliography.

The tutorial includes a link to the Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide, which is basically a short list of templates for first notes, subsequent notes and the full bibliographic entries for commonly cited sources such as books, chapters, journal articles, dissertations and even web sites.  The Quick Guide is easy to use and a great reference tool for undergraduate and graduate students alike.  It includes a link to the full text online version of the 16th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style.

Please contact me with your ideas and suggestions for additional tutorials.

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Falvey Favorites, Tags, and Lists

Have you ever wondered what those cute little hearts in the library’s catalog could do for you?  Did you notice that some catalog records are tagged? Favorites and tags can be used in different ways to organize books into lists for personal use or to share them with students and colleagues.  Here is a short overview of the functionality of these catalog features.

Tags are public, which means that everybody can see them in the online catalog. The creator of a tag does not control its use in the catalog. Others may add the same tag to other records. Take a look at the his8204 tag. Anybody can add the his8204 tag to a similar or a totally unrelated title. Records with the same tag can be retrieved with a tag search, one of the search options in the catalog. Simply type h into the search box. The new search prediction feature of the online catalog will list all existing tags with an initial h, among them his8204. Tags are a social bookmarking feature and are generally used for classification purposes. Each tag represents a piece of metadata contributed by the community. I used the his8204 tag to create a list of selected ancient sources in translation. Tags are great for students collaborating on a project. Just remember that you have no editorial control over the use of a tag. This also means that the community can contribute to your list and expand it.

Use the Favorites feature if you would like to retain editorial control over your lists. You can still share your lists with students and colleagues. Just remember that only public lists can be shared. Simply copy the URL of a list and post it online or distribute it via email. Ready to create a list? Click on Add to Favorites in the record of your first title. You will be prompted to log into your catalog account. You can choose to add titles to a new or to an already existing list. Lists can be edited and records can be enriched with personal notes and tags. Here are some examples:
Academic Writing
American Political History
Contemporary Popular Music

It is easy to create new lists and add tags in the online catalog. Give it a try. To access existing lists in your personal catalog account, simply click on My Account in the top right hand corner of the library’s Web site and log into Catalog Favorites, Tags & Lists.

Feel free to contact us with any questions or comments that you may have.

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New Content in Grove Art Online

  • Posted by: Jutta Seibert
  • Posted Date: February 22, 2011
  • Filed Under: Art History

By Alice Bampton

Oxford University Press, the publisher of Grove Art Online, the foremost scholarly art encyclopedia, has made numerous updates as part of an on-going major commitment “to uphold [its] … relevance and scholarly integrity.” Among these changes are:
• updated bibliographies of more than 550 Italian Renaissance entries,
• the addition of new and revised essays and biographies about late 20th and early 21st century artists who include certain aspects of science in their art, included in the science and contemporary art, bio art, and science and art entries, (See, for example, Joseph Beuys, Critical Art Ensemble, or Stelarc.)
• access to new articles in the forthcoming Grove Encyclopedia of Medieval Art, such as Arthurian legends in medieval art, Bohun manuscripts, and female monasticism,
• access to new articles in the forthcoming Grove Encyclopedia of American Art. Highlights from this work include Laylah Ali, Broadacre City, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and more.
Grove Art Online contains the full text of the 34-volume Grove Dictionary of Art (1996), with over 45,000 articles written by internationally famous scholars plus links to over 130,000 images. Coverage includes all types of visual arts from prehistory to contemporary from all parts of the world making it a core reference for art history. You can search topics by culture, civilization, period, style, artist and more; the database is extremely user friendly.

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Last Modified: February 22, 2011