Archive forFeatured Resources

Everything Has “History”

Have I mentioned how much I love online content?  No?  Well, I do!  And when that content is both intelligent and presented in a useful and adaptable manner I feel like a kid with a quarter in a penny candy shop.  I have a new love.

The comprehensiveness of this resource is awesome.  From warfare in ancient Greece and Rome to American theatre, from literary criticism to science, from philosophy to food, from music and music theory to political thought, this series goes beyond the “traditional” bounds of history.

But then, everything has a history, so don’t be surprised by the vast number and scope of the individual volumes in the new e-resource Cambridge Histories Online (CHO).

CHO homepage

You could just dive in from the quick search box and search for, say, “pizza,” and scan the 15 results.  They are as diverse as food and nutrition (obvious), American foreign relations (where Pizza Huts and McDonald’s are symbols of American culture exported to Russia), and language (where the use of the German suffix -burger has been generalized in American culture so that it no longer denotes a place: Hamburg(er) - but a style of food: pizzaburger).

However, since Baylor subscribes to the  complete Cambridge Histories Online (more than 70 titles in the series with over 250 individual volumes), I’d recommend that you search for your topic but not jump right in to any of the articles you may find.  Instead, take a look at the results in the right-hand pane which will list the categories and the series titles which have results for your term.  Let me demonstrate.

Right now, many students are looking for information on the current economic crisis.  But a quick look at the information timeline in our online tutorial will clue you in that it might be difficult to find scholarly research (articles or books) on this topic yet.  So do you drop your topic?  Not at all!  You can find scholarly material on past economic crises and compare what happened in the past to the current events or proposed solutions.  Here’s where the CHO will come in handy.  A search for economic crisis from the quick search screen gets you over 2,000 results.  To narrow the topic look at the Refine Search pane on the right and see if there is a more relevant volume from the series collection:

CHO Sidebar Series

And, indeed, there is, four actually. Of these, The Cambridge Economic History of the United States and The Cambridge Economic History of Modern Britain might both be reasonable places to start (note the list above is ranked by number of hits, so these two volumes with 21 and 30 hits, respectively, aren’t showing in the sample).

Clicking on the title of The Cambridge Economic History of the United States takes you to a list of chapter titles in that volume where the terms “economic” and “crisis” appear.  At this point, your term or terms may not appear in the brief snippet you’ll see.  You can click on the chapter title to get a view of the opening paragraphs – and may still not see the terms you typed in.  Click on the view full chapter button to see the entire chapter as a pdf:

CHO View Full Chapter Button

Here’s one of the places where CHO is nicely designed – you get the option to  view the entire chapter with or without highlighting.  You can also see some of the bibliography (which is part of each chapter in CHO) and you note that the BU Infolinks button is there so you can see if we own the book/journal.

Two last nice touches.  Sign up for a free account and you can save the chapters you are interested in to your personal account so you don’t have to keep searching for the same item all the time.  Then get your friends and colleagues at Baylor to sign up because with a personal account you can create workgroups – spaces where you can save material and invite others to see it, too.  Great for group work, collaborative projects, or interactive assignments where you want all members of the group to find a relevant piece of information and contribute it to the whole group.

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Music just a click away

Did you know that you can access tons of streamed music through the Baylor Libraries?  We subscribe to several resources that can connect you with an amazing amount of music in a number of styles or genres:

From the Libraries’ homepage, you can use the search widget on the left. Select “search for databases by keyword” and enter “streaming music.”  You’ll see a list of all the streaming music databases we subscribe to. If you use these links or the links below, you’ll be able to access these resources from on or off campus.

All of the databases will allow you to search or browse. Some will include liner notes and other information and some will even let you sign in and build your own playlists.

African American Song
contains 16,000 tracks of important recordings in a number of genres including jazz, blues, gospel, ragtime, folk songs, sacred, and even some speeches and sermons.

Classical Music Library
includes vocal and choral music, chamber, orchestral, solo instrumental, and opera, including everything from Gregorian chant to living composers. Coverage includes music written from the earliest times (e.g. Gregorian Chant) to the present, including many contemporary composers. CML currently includes This release 55,903 tracks (3,628 albums).

DRAM (Digital Repository of American Music)
contains music by american composers and performers of the 20th and 21st centuries. It includes 2,000 albums and complete liner notes and essays from independent record labels and sound archives. This collection is based primarily on the New World Records recordings, including folk to opera, Native American to jazz, 19th century classical to early rock, musical theater, contemporary, electronic and beyond.

American Song
currently includes 1,015 albums, (6,996 tracks) of music in many genres from many aspects of America’s past including songs by and about American Indians, miners, immigrants, slaves, children, pioneers, and cowboys. It also includes songs of Civil Rights, political campaigns,  Prohibition, the Revolutionary War,  the Civil War, and anti-war protests. This database will eventually include  50,000 tracks.

Contemporary World Music
will contain 50,000 tracks that delivers the sounds of all regions from every continent. The database will contain important genres such as reggae, worldbeat, neo-traditional, world fusion, Balkanic jazz, African film, Bollywood, Arab swing and jazz, and other genres such as traditional music – Indian classical, fado, flamenco, klezmer, zydeco, gospel, gagaku, and more. This release includes 1,012 albums, equalling 13,502 tracks.

Naxos Music Library
is the world’s largest online classical music library. Currently, it offers streaming access to more than 26,370 CDs with more than 376,700 tracks. On average, 500 new CDs are added to the library every month.

Naxos Music Libary Jazz
is one of the most comprehensive collection of Jazz music available online. It offers  22,600 tracks of jazz from over 2,300 albums. Over 500 jazz artists are represented on a number of important jazz record labels.

Smithsonian Global Sound
includes more than 35,000 individual tracks of music, spoken word, and natural and human-made sounds. You can browse by genre, cultural group, language, musical instrument, artist, or ensemble.

Whatever your musical tastes, you’re sure to find music here to suit, so click away, sit back, and enjoy!

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Searching for the Nobel Prize winners

Perhaps you’ve heard in the news lately about the 2008 Nobel Prize winners. These people were all honored for their important contributions to literature, science and world peace.

The 2008 Nobel Prize for Literature went to Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio, and if you are interested in reading any of his works, you can find them in BearCat, Baylor Library’s online catalog. If you choose “Search the Catalog by Author” and put in “Le Clezio” you will find a list of the books written by him, which the library has in its collection. The books that the library owns by Le Clézio include works in French and in English translation.

If you’re interested in finding the works of the Nobel Prize winners in the sciences, you should start with the database called Web of Science (log in with your Bear ID and password). This database contains a large amount of high-quality peer-reviewed articles from the leading science journals.

I was specifically interested in finding out about the Nobel Prizewinners in Medicine, since two of the recipients were the scientists who discovered the HIV virus (Françoise Barré-Sinoussi and Luc Montagnier). So, after I logged into Web of Science I searched for “Montagnier, L.” and selected “Author” from the drop-down box. It looks like Mr. Montagnier has published quite a lot – that search produced 374 results! Scanning down the list, it looks like a number of the articles were published with Barré-Sinoussi.

However, Web of Science has a great feature – being able to see the number of articles which have cited any particular article. Let’s take that list of results we got by searching for Mr. Montagnier and changing “Sort by” from “Relevance” to “Times Cited” (that’s on the far right at the top of the search results). When we do that, we find that the first article is called “ISOLATION OF A T-LYMPHOTROPIC RETROVIRUS FROM A PATIENT AT RISK FOR ACQUIRED IMMUNE-DEFICIENCY SYNDROME (AIDS)” and it has been cited 4393 times!. This is also the article which first presented the Nobel laureate’s ground-breaking work discovering the HIV virus.

This is one of the great features of Web of Science: the ability to see what each article has cited and who has cited it. The higher the number of “times cited” the more important or influential the work has been. No wonder these scientists won a Nobel Prize!

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