Thursday, March 18, 2010

Latest Updates to the AUR Library

This is another update from the AUR Library. There are some improvements and new tools in the library since the last message.
At the bottom of this message is a list of other relevant links.

Digital Books
We have just added over 550 new books through our subscription with the Humanities Ebook Project hosted by the American Council of Learned Societies. These are books selected by the Council as being especially important to the academic community. The total number of these books is now 2790 from 250 publishers. According to the Project's information:
"Fields currently covered include Area Studies in the following: Australasian/Oceanian, Byzantine, Canadian, Caribbean, Jewish Studies, Native Peoples of the Americas, Women’s Studies. Historical Studies include African, American, Asian, Comparative/World, Eastern European/Russian, Economic, European, Latin American, Law, Medicine, Methods/Theory, Middle East, and Science/Technology. HEB also encompasses the fields of Archaeology, Art and Architectural History, Dance and Performance History, Film and Media Studies, Folklore, Literature, Musicology, Philosophy, Political Science, Religion, and Sociology. Forthcoming fields include Bibliographic Studies."

We added over 300 additional books published by the University of Michigan Press and now being made available for free through the HathiTrust Digital Library, following the philosophy of the Open Access movement. Many of these books have been published only recently, and they comprise all topics. This brings to a total of over 650 books made available by the University of Michigan, and many more are expected.

We also added 69 new books from the University of Pittsburgh Digital Press, also made available through the Open Access movement, again, on various subjects. This brings the total number of U Pitt books made available in this way to over 590. These add onto the books made available through the University of California Press, Ohio University Press and others.

The Extend Search has some updates.
-In the Art Images section, we have added an automatic search of RIBA (the database of the Royal Institute of British Architects) which has may images on a wide aray of subjects

-In the Articles & Open Archives section, we have added OpenDOAR. This is a database that allows people to search the contents of over 1500 open access repositories.

-In the Videos section, we have added an automatic search for Movie Review Query Engine, which is a major database with links into movie reviews.

(We are still updating the related Two-Minute Tutorials)

We have also had several questions about statistical information. Since many statistics are government information, much of it is available openly online, but "statistics" is a huge field since there can be statistics for literally everything. As a result, statistics are anything but easy to find. In answer to this, we are experimenting with a page, based on our Do-It-Yourself Research Guide Finder, we have created the Do-It-Yourself Research Guide Finder for Statistics, which is focused on finding research guides for statistical information. Just as with the other Research Guide Finders, this tool does not lead directly to the actual statistics, but to specially designed research guides created by experts in the U.S. and U.K. to help lead you to the statistics you want. It functions similarly to the main Do-It-Yourself Research Guide Finder, i.e. enter the topic you are interested in and the finder will search Google in a highly specific way. For instance, if you search "Immigration" the first result is the excellent guide on International Statistics at the University of Pennsylvania, while if you go down a few, you will find a pdf file that provides a nice overview of statistics from Teesside University.

Let us know how you like it and how it works for you. Naturally, we are anxious to hear any suggestions for improvements or new ideas.

The latest Featured Resource is the C-SPAN site, which has just made all of their videos available for free on the web. This has also been added to the Videos Extend Search section when you choose Educational Videos. C-SPAN has videos and transcripts on all topics, especially since it includes "Book TV" and "BookNotes." We provide specific examples: a video of Victor Davis Hanson discussing his book A war like no other : how the Athenians and Spartans fought the Peloponnesian War (which we have in the library), and the public intellectuals Christopher Hitchens and George Packer discussing the life and thought of George Orwell.

Some highlights of recently added materials:

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