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                             FreePint
         "Helping 67,000 people use the Web for their work"
                     http://www.freepint.com/

ISSN 1460-7239                                 18th March 2004 No.156
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           ALTERNATIVE NEWSLETTER FORMATS AVAILABLE AT:
            <http://www.freepint.com/issues/180304.htm>

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                           IN THIS ISSUE
                           -------------

                             EDITORIAL

                       MY FAVOURITE TIPPLES
                        By Vasyl Pawlowsky

                           FREEPINT BAR
                    In Association with Factiva
                   a Dow Jones & Reuters Company

                               JOBS
                         Research Manager
                 Information Management Specialist
        Stand-Alone Information Specialist (Corp. Finance)
                       Information Scientist
                         Knowledge Manager

                           TIPS ARTICLE
          "Information Sources For Childcare On The Web"
                         By David Renfree

                             BOOKSHELF
              "Your Essential Guide to Career Success"
                    Reviewed by Olivia Freeman

                          FEATURE ARTICLE
      "Curious about Clio? History and Historians on the Web"
                        By Andrew Humphries

               EVENTS, GOLD AND FORTHCOMING ARTICLES

                        CONTACT INFORMATION

             ONLINE VERSION WITH ACTIVATED HYPERLINKS
            <http://www.freepint.com/issues/180304.htm>

                      FULLY FORMATTED VERSION
            <http://www.freepint.com/issues/180304.pdf>


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    >>>  VIP -- Single Subscription Covers Your Entire Site  <<<

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                     >>>  ABOUT FREEPINT  <<<

FreePint is an online network of information searchers. Members
receive this free newsletter twice a month: it is packed with tips
on finding quality and reliable business information on the Internet.

Joining is free at <http://www.freepint.com/> and provides access to
a substantial archive of articles, reviews, jobs & events, with
answers to research questions and networking at the FreePint Bar.

Please circulate this newsletter which is best read when printed out.
To receive a fully formatted version as an attachment or a brief
notification when it's online, visit <http://web.freepint.com/>.

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A new subscription service providing a database of free and paid-for
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Full links to regularly evaluated UK and European sites from trade
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mrow@irn-research.com for more details.

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                             EDITORIAL

With Europe in shock over the appalling Madrid bombings, countries
all across the world are tightening security at rail stations and
border posts. Last week Tony Blair called international terrorism
"the new menace of our time". He said "we will not defeat it by
hoping it will leave us alone, or by hiding away".

As with the aftermath of 9/11, all the news outlets are naturally
demanding answers by seeking context and analysis of events. We must
never stop questioning; and journalism has been famously called the
first draft of history. History, and properly conducted investigative
current affairs, put events in context. The tagline for the History
News Network <http://hnn.us> is "Because the Past is the Present, and
the Future too." History News Network is a site recommended in Andrew
Humphries' article today, and its raison d'etre is: "All those who
profess utter indifference to history are beholden to it. History is
inescapable. Who we are, and how we react to events depends, to a
great extent, on our past". We live in dangerous times, and Simon
Schama in his BBC4 history lecture <http://digbig.com/3xqg> talks of
"the premise that in a time of danger, history needs to capture memory
(before the bad guys hold it hostage)".

In "Curious about Clio? History and Historians on the Web", Andrew
Humphries gives a wealth of excellent sites for the serious history
researcher. Possibly more than any other subject, history demonstrates
the importance of teaching people to use a range of printed sources
alongside online ones. After all, the WWW has only been in existence
since the 1980s. Importantly, Andrew points out Web starting points to
bibliographic sources as well as direct online sources.

We also publish today an insightful piece on child welfare by David
Renfree: "Information Sources for Childcare on the Web". It is packed
with valuable sources including links to government, charities and
international agency resources.

FreePint continues to be read and respected by some of the biggest
players in the information content industry, and we are often viewed
as important advocates and asked to be involved in industry events.
Recently I led an interactive discussion for a Factiva expert series
seminar "Assessing, Maximising and Demonstrating the value of your
Information" <http://digbig.com/3xte>. Look out for some observations
on transferable skills from this event in the next issue.

Interest in FreePint's sister publication VIP among vendors is also
growing, and I am pleased to announce that VIP has been given its
first exclusive - access to new versions of Dialog Profound and Dialog
Newsroom - launched just three days ago. VIP will publish the first
product review of these in Europe in the next issue. See
<http://digbig.com/3xqh> for details.

All the best

Annabel Colley
Editor, FreePint
<annabel.colley@freepint.com>

FreePint is a Registered Trademark of Free Pint Limited (R) 1997-2004

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> Library + Information Show -21st + 22nd April 2004, ExCeL, London <
 The LiS, incorporating Total Library Solutions, covers all areas of
information and knowledge management. Of the 130 exhibitors, at least
50% are either new to the event or will be demonstrating new products.
  Plus we have a comprehensive, free seminar programme with speakers
  including John Byford, British Library Legal deposit specialist to
   Andrew Motion Poet Laureate.  For more information please see -
                    <http://www.lishow.co.uk>

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                    "FreePint Virtual Exchange:
         Copyright and the new law: what it means for you"

 The Virtual Exchange has been recorded and will be available soon:
                <http://www.freepint.com/exchange/>

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                       MY FAVOURITE TIPPLES
                        By Vasyl Pawlowsky

Working at a Kyiv-based law firm I find the following five sites
useful and at times entertaining:

* The Visual Thesaurus
  <http://www.visualthesaurus.com/online/index.html> - One of my
  favourite sites when trying to explain relationships between words
  to many of the non-native English speakers I work with.

* The concept of clustering technologies together with meta-searching
  assists me on regular basis, and a new arrival on the Internet
  employing both technologies, that I use regularly is
  <http://www.killerinfo.com>.

* Since its first appearance on the Internet over eight years ago,
  I have used the Universal Currency Converter at 
  <http://www.xe.com/ucc/full.shtml> for conversions of everything
  from the Turkish Lira to Ukrainian Hyrvnia.

* Ever want to know what a website looked like before it became a 404
  web server response? <http://www.waybackmachine.org> helps one travel
  back to a point in Internet history, just like Jay Ward's cartoon
  character Mr. Peabody and his pet boy Sherman did in Peabody's
  "Wayback Machine."

* Without access to the standard legal fee-based services, there have
  been countless situations when I have made use of the World Legal
  Information Institute's site at <http://www.worldlii.org/>.

Vasyl (Bill) Pawlowsky spent eight years as a Senior Information
Specialist in Montreal, Canada before departing for Ukraine in 1999.
After spending two years as a consultant on democracy development
issues and a year-and-a-half as a journalist/editor of a Kyiv-based
business weekly, he returned to back into his profession as Head of
Information Services at the Kyiv-based Law Firm Magister & Partners in
January 2003. In addition to his day job he is Advisor on
International Cooperation for the Democratic Initiatives Foundation, a
Kyiv-based NGO specializing in public opinion polling and sociological
research.

Submit your top five favourite Web sites. See the guidelines at
<http://www.freepint.com/author.htm>.

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              >>>  In-depth Reports from FreePint  <<<

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           >> ISBN 1-904769-03-9

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           >> ISBN 1-904769-02-0

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                            FREEPINT BAR
                    In Association with Factiva
                   a Dow Jones & Reuters Company

It's nice for us to use this Bar Summary to look back and review the
Bar's usage. Information professionals have been the heaviest users
over the last couple of weeks, with questions about a wide range of
topics, including paid-for services, pricing, copyright and Web
governance.

The big database vendors are always being scrutinised, with one poster
wanting to compare Dialog and Factiva to their alternatives
<http://www.freepint.com/go/b28010>. VIP will be the first to review
Dialog's new platform this month <http://www.freepint.com/go/b28003>
and VIP Eye was the first to announce the launch of the developments
at Dialog <http://www.vivaVIP.com>. Regarding pricing, a FreePinter is
trying to compare the cost of viewing an article in pay-as-you-go vs.
subscription plans using LexisNexis or Factiva. Are you willing to
hint at what you pay? <http://www.freepint.com/go/b27941>. Are you in
a public library and willing to chat about your agreement with Mintel?
<http://www.freepint.com/go/b27982>.

A long and interesting thread has centred around building a library
catalogue using Microsoft Access <http://www.freepint.com/go/b27882>.
A member in New Zealand needs to catalogue a small music library on a
similarly cost-conscious basis <http://www.freepint.com/go/b27911>.
Can you help someone setting up a documentation centre in a developing
country using untrained staff? <http://www.freepint.com/go/b27879>.

Copyright is, of course, always one of the hottest topics at the Bar.
We have completed the recording of FreePint's Virtual Exchange on the
new copyright law, and this will be available soon
<http://www.freepint.com/exchange/cp110304.htm>. In the meantime, find
out if there are restrictions on lifting information from
public-company annual reports <http://www.freepint.com/go/b27918> and 
whether digital certificates using PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) are
suitable for agreements from speakers at a conference
<http://www.freepint.com/go/b27893>.

There are Webmasters looking for recent articles on Web governance
<http://www.freepint.com/go/b28026> and an interim solution for an
intranet search engine <http://www.freepint.com/go/b27861>. There's
been useful links to guidelines for school Websites
<http://www.freepint.com/go/b27881> but no help yet for someone
looking to research Access Auditors, specifically to the regulations
of the Disability Discrimation Act here in the UK
<http://www.freepint.com/go/b27912>.

Of course, FreePint is primarily about people, so can you point to
resources for someone keen to enter the rapidly growing world of
records management? <http://www.freepint.com/go/b28033>. What about
help on filling in those analytical/open questions in job
applications? <http://www.freepint.com/go/b27947>. There's a call to
network from an information professional working in the private
equity / venture capital field <http://www.freepint.com/go/b27972>.

Finally, we received excellent feedback about last issue's article
"Librarians and The War On Terror", and links to
further resources and discussion have been posted at the Bar
<http://www.freepint.com/go/b27902>. If you have feedback about
today's issue, then make sure you visit <http://www.freepint.com/bar>.

William Hann <william.hann@freepint.com>
Managing Editor, FreePint

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The FreePint Bar is where you can get help with your tricky research
questions, for free! <http://www.freepint.com/bar>

Help with study for information-related courses is available at the
FreePint Student Bar <http://www.freepint.com/student>.

Twice-weekly email digests of the latest postings can be requested
at <http://web.freepint.com/>.

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                           FREEPINT JOBS
                   <http://www.freepint.com/jobs>

The FreePint Jobs Update is being circulated widely every two
weeks. This free newsletter now has 1,100 direct subscribers and
is posted at the Bar and in the Bar Digest (circulation 11,000).

To see the Jobs Update No.69 visit <http://www.freepint.com/go/b28017>
and to subscribe, modify your account at <http://web.freepint.com>.

Here are some of the latest featured jobs:

Research Manager
  Hybrid role requires a Research Manager with experience in Qual/Quant
  research, Client Liaison, Acc Management & Team Management.
  Recruiter: Comtecs Ltd 
  <http://www.freepint.com/go/j3011>

Information Management Specialist
  Examine current systems and procedures, lead the transfer of paper
  records to electronic format and review archive facilities.
  Recruiter: Syngenta
  <http://www.freepint.com/go/j3069>
  
Stand-Alone Information Specialist (Corp. Finance)
  Newly created vacancy to establish and develop in-depth research and

  analysis service for niche Corporate Finance Advisory business.
  Recruiter: Glen Recruitment
  <http://www.freepint.com/go/j3076>
  
Information Scientist
  3 months pharma information scientist role in Surrey, doing
  research & CAS, salary neg.
  Recruiter: Sue Hill Recruitment
  <http://www.freepint.com/go/j3080>

Knowledge Manager
  Manage the development of our corporate website, intranet and
  electronic records.
  Recruiter: Suffolk County Council
  <http://www.freepint.com/go/j3081>

NB: There are 27 other jobs in the current edition of the Jobs Update
<http://www.freepint.com/go/b28017>.

[The above jobs are paid listings]

FreePint Jobs -- the best place for information vacancies.

*  VACANCY SEARCHING -- Free search and sign up to the Job Update.
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   >>>  Willco at AIIP Conference, Austin, Texas, 29th April  <<<

 Willco provides the hosting technology behind sites like FreePint,
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             Come and see the Willco system in action:
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                            TIPS ARTICLE
         <http://www.freepint.com/issues/180304.htm#tips>
          "Information Sources For Childcare On The Web"
                         By David Renfree

Introduction
------------

The childcare sector in the UK has undergone radical change in recent
years, with a reorganisation of children's services impacting on child
welfare and education. One of the effects of this change has been an
increasing demand for qualified professionals to work within
children's services, and a rise in the number of institutions offering
qualifications in childcare. This article highlights some of the
quality information sources available to professionals working in
childcare, and also examines international websites that provide an
insight into child welfare around the world.


Government information
----------------------

The government is currently committed to integrating children's
services within a single organisational focus. While this process is
ongoing, a summary of each of the various child-related government
projects is available from the Department for Education & Skills 
<http://www.dfes.gov.uk/childrenandfamilies>, together with links to
the separate websites.

The SureStart programme <http://www.surestart.gov.uk> is central to
the reorganisation of children's services, and its website provides
information about various childcare and education policies that are
currently being implemented. One of the offshoots of the SureStart
website is ChildcareLink <http://www.childcarelink.gov.uk>, which
allows users to search for childminders, creches, day nurseries, kids'
clubs and pre-school playgroups in their local area, and contains
advice on how to choose and pay for childcare. For individuals with an
interest in working with children, SureStart's National Recruitment
Campaign has a separate website <http://www.childcarecareers.gov.uk>
which provides information on the different types of work available,
and suggestions on how to begin a career in childcare.

Discussion of further reform to children's services has been led by
the publication in September 2003 of the green paper 'Every Child
Matters' <http://www.dfes.gov.uk/everychildmatters>, which can be
downloaded in full, summary, or young people's versions. During the
writing of this article, a follow-up paper entitled 'Every Child
Matters - The Next Step' has also been placed on this site. One of the
key recommendations of the green paper was the setting up of
children's trusts to integrate the strategies of different social
services, and detailed information about these can be found from the
Department of Health
<http://www.children.doh.gov.uk/childrenstrusts/>.


Charities & voluntary organisation
----------------------------------

There are a wealth of charities and voluntary organisations that
provide support services and carry out research in the area of child
welfare, as well as providing simple information for parents and
practitioners alike. One of the most prominent of these bodies is the
National Children's Bureau <http://www.ncb.org.uk>, whose website
contains a mixture of news, research, resources and links to
subsidiary groups. The site is sometimes a little tricky to navigate,
but the content is excellent.

Perhaps the most recognised of all childcare organisations is the
NSPCC <http://www.nspcc.org.uk>. The site is largely concerned with
the work of the charity, but does provide some useful downloads for
parents and carers. Similarly, Barnardos'
<http://www.barnardos.org.uk> website is mostly devoted to promoting
the charity's efforts with vulnerable children, although summaries and
sometimes the full-text of research projects into children's issues
are available from the 'Resources' section of the site.

Other childcare organisations include The Daycare Trust 
<http://www.daycaretrust.org.uk>, which aims to promote affordable
childcare for all; the Child Poverty Action Group 
<http://www.cpag.org.uk>; 4Children <http://www.4children.org.uk>, a
new charity dedicated to "creating opportunities for children", and
the National Childminding Association <http://www.ncma.org.uk/> which
promotes registered childminding in England and Wales. All of these
charities have websites that provide information and resources
relating to their work for parents and professionals alike.

Two further organisations are worth mentioning here. The Joseph
Rowntree Foundation <http://www.jrf.org.uk> carries out independent
social research and, although it does not deal solely with children's
services, many of the news and reports available from its website are
of interest to the childcare researcher. For people considering taking
a qualification in childcare, the CACHE website
<http://www.cache.org.uk/> will provide information on which
courses are available, as well as general careers advice.


International resources
-----------------------

The UNICEF website <http://www.unicef.org> is a goldmine of
information on child welfare around the globe. All of UNICEF's major
publications are free to download from the site 
<http://www.unicef.org/publications/>, including the annual 'State of
the World's Children' report. The 'Information by Country' 
<http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/> pages offer statistics and often
a general overview of children's services for every country in the
world. Detailed research carried out by the Innocenti Research Centre
<http://www.unicef-icdc.org> is also available online.

The UNICEF site also contains the homepage of the UN Convention On The
Rights Of The Child <http://www.unicef.org/crc/crc.htm>. The
Convention has been ratified by 192 countries, making it the most
universally accepted human rights instrument in history. Supplementary
information about the Convention, as well as its full text, can be
found within this site. The Children's Rights Information Network 
<http://www.crin.org> is a further detailed source for information in
this area.

Further information relating to child welfare around the world can be
obtained from the Save The Children website 
<http://www.savethechildren.net>. The organisation carries out child
protection work in over 100 countries, and its website is a rich
source of free reports and downloads. Children's interests within the
EU are campaigned for by The European Children's Network (EURONET) 
<http://www.europeanchildrensnetwork.org>, which is comprised of a
coalition of organisations from across the continent; their
multilingual website contains news, reports, legal information and
more.


Special needs
-------------

Many childcare jobs involve working with children who have special
needs, which requires the practitioner to have a detailed knowledge of
the nature of a disability. A full examination of the websites that
supply information on various conditions really requires an article in
itself, but it is possible to list some of the most useful ones here.

The ADHD Information Library 
<http://www.btinternet.com/~black.ice/addnet/libmain.html> suffers from
poor site design, but its content is well researched and broad in
scope. The Down Syndrome Information Network 
<http://www.down-syndrome.info/> is home to an online library of Down
syndrome resources, as well as providing news and links to other
sites. For information about children with speech and language
difficulties, the I CAN website <http://www.ican.org.uk> is a good
starting point.

Detailed information about children with dyslexia can be found on two
sister websites, Dyslexia Teaching Today 
<http://www.dyslexia-teacher.co.uk> and the Dyslexia Parents Resource
<http://www.dyslexia-parent.com>; each of the sites provides content
which is tailored towards their respective intended audiences.
Similarly, there are separate indexes for young people, parents and
professionals on the Young Minds website
<http://www.youngminds.org.uk>, which contains information relating to
children's mental health.


Other useful resources
----------------------

An article of this length can only offer a glimpse at the huge range
of information relating to childcare which is available on the
internet. For a list of hyperlinks to useful websites in this area,
the SOSIG children's gateway 
<http://www.sosig.ac.uk/roads/subject-listing/World-cat/child.html> is
updated regularly, and covers both domestic and international
information. Among the resources on offer are links to databases,
government publications, mailing lists, and full text reports,
articles and papers.

The Child Health and Paediatrics Specialist Library 
<http://rms.nelh.nhs.uk/childhealth/> has been recently launched as
part of the National Electronic Library for Health. The site is
"primarily aimed at professionals involved in the care of children",
but may also be of use to other users looking for information on child
health. Currently there are over 1,000 resources indexed by type, but
the site is likely to become increasingly useful as this number
continues to grow.

Finally, it seems appropriate to end this article with a few
suggestions for websites that are suitable for use by children
themselves. Yahooligans <http://www.yahooligans.com> is a child-safe
web directory compiled by Yahoo; the site also offers interactive
features such as games, cartoons and music videos. Ask Jeeves for Kids
<http://www.ajkids.com> and Kidsclick! <http://www.kidsclick.org/> are
two alternative search resources which have been designed specifically
for children. For parents who are concerned about their children using
the internet, the Childnet International website 
<http://www.childnet-int.org> contains details of projects designed to
ensure the safety of children whilst they are online.

> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

David Renfree is the subject librarian for the School of Childhood & 
Education at the Birmingham College Of Food, Tourism & Creative 
Studies.

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Related FreePint links:

* 'Employment/Recruitment/HR' articles and resources in the FreePint
  Portal <http://www.freepint.com/go/p43>
* Post a message to the author, David Renfree, or suggest further
  resources at the FreePint Bar <http://www.freepint.com/bar>
* Read this article online, with activated hyperlinks
  <http://www.freepint.com/issues/180304.htm#feature>
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                    What is the ResourceShelf?
                   <http://www.resourceshelf.com>

ResourceShelf is a free daily update containing news of interest
to information professionals around the world.

Topics include the latest news with web search engines, research
tips, new web resources, and much more.

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                         FREEPINT BOOKSHELF
                <http://www.freepint.com/bookshelf>
              "Your Essential Guide to Career Success"
             Written by Sheila Pantry, Peter Griffiths                   
                    Reviewed by Olivia Freeman

I wish that I had had this book at the start of my career. However,
having said that, the book contains many valuable tips, even for
someone at an advanced stage in their career. This is a very readable
book and each chapter follows the same clear and concise format,
ending with a bullet pointed summary. I have not seen the first
edition but this second edition has been well researched and brought
up to date with recent developments and name changes.

The book opens with an overview of the 21st century employment market
for library and information professionals, which includes some
information on working overseas. This brief introduction leads quickly
on to the nub of career success, which is career planning. Readers are
introduced to risk assessment for jobs and applying ratings to their
current jobs. Action is advocated.

There is useful background for people at the start of their careers
with an overview of the differing types of work and range of
organisations that employ information professionals, there are also
brief descriptions of related fields such as competitor intelligence
and knowledge management. Professional bodies, employment agencies and
accredited courses are described, and a full list of names, addresses
and contacts has been included at the back of the book. Extensive
sources of further information are also given.

There are some useful pointers on how to look at job advertisements,
both internal and external, and how to decide whether to apply and if
they fit in with your career plan; alongside this are some tips on how
to do your CV and how to plan for promotion and how to compare your
current post with a potential new post. There is also a useful section
on the value of mentoring.

I particularly liked the chapter on 'Your Successful Interview', which
contains much good advice on how to prepare for interview. The
interview is the most difficult stage of getting a job, as there is
only a very short time to create a good impression. The different
kinds of interview are described, along with the types of psychometric
or intelligence tests that are increasingly included at interview. The
book is written in a very reassuring, confidence-giving style, which
would be very helpful to anyone preparing for an interview. Personally
I found the first time I had to give a presentation at an interview
very scary and I actually sought verbal reassurance.

The book ends with career case studies based on asking a number of
questions relating to personal career planning and use of skills.
Participants were also asked who or what influenced their career
moves. It is evident from the responses that the authors of the book
are both experienced mentors, who have given others substantial
guidance in their careers.

> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Olivia Freeman works on a freelance basis, as a trainer, researcher
and information management specialist. She was Head of Business
Information at HSBC Bank, where she started the service, which
provides a global service to both bankers and customers. Olivia runs
training courses on strategic planning, selecting e-resources and
legal issues. Workshops can be tailored to individual requirements.
She is a very experienced researcher and has undertaken major projects
on a range of topics. Her expertise is in product development and
competitor monitoring in financial services.

Olivia has always been active in the information profession. She
regularly publishes articles and speaks at meetings.

> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Related FreePint links:

* Find out more about this book online at the FreePint Bookshelf
  <http://www.freepint.com/bookshelf/careers.htm>
* Read customer comments and buy this book at Amazon.co.uk
  <http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/1856044912/freepint0c>
  or Amazon.com
  <http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1856044912/freepint00>
* "Your Essential Guide to Career Success" ISBN 1856044912,
  published by Facet Publishing.
* Search for and purchase any book from Amazon via the FreePint
  Bookshelf at <http://www.freepint.com/bookshelf>
* Read about other Internet Searching books on the FreePint Bookshelf
  <http://www.freepint.com/bookshelf/searching.htm>

To propose an information-related book for review, send details
to <bookshelf@freepint.com>.

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                           FEATURE ARTICLE
         <http://www.freepint.com/issues/180304.htm#feature>
      "Curious about Clio? History and Historians on the Web"
                        By Andrew Humphries

During the last couple of years, 'history' has been described as both
"the new gardening" (Professor R. J. Evans) and "the new rock 'n'
roll" (World Congress of History Producers). What both of these
comments allude to is the high levels of popularity that history
currently enjoys, both in popular culture and academia, and this is
reflected in the vast numbers of websites that are available on the
subject. These sites vary enormously in quality, scholarliness and
sometimes accuracy, and range from personal family trees to highly
specialised online books. I have tried here to identify those sites
which will be of interest to those imbued with the spirit of Clio, the
muse of history, and who are keen to find out more about academic
history and historians.


Facts and Figures
-----------------

The building blocks of history are the facts and figures: the names,
places, dates, people and events which have played a part in our
heritage. The best places to find accurate information quickly are the
online encyclopedias, particularly Encyclopedia.com 
<http://www.encyclopedia.com> which gives more free information than
many of the others. Also of interest is Wikipedia 
<http://www.wikipedia.org>, the encyclopedia-cum-community where
members of the online public submit the entries. The accuracy of the
information is usually very good and the embedded links can take you
off on some interesting and entertaining tangents.

Another good source for basic historical information is the BBC
History site <http://www.bbc.co.uk/history>. Amongst the fun games and
the animated depictions of the Dunkirk landings, you will find an
excellent collection of introductory essays on topics ranging from
Life in an Iron Age Village to The End of Soviet Communism. These
pieces are often written by the leading academic experts in the field
and are accompanied by a list of related links so they make a good
starting point for further exploration.

There are also a large number of timelines available which will help
you out with 'what happened when' questions. The BBC History site has
an excellent timeline on British history 
<http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/timelines> and there is a good, though
slightly messy, general timeline at HyperHistory 
<http://www.hyperhistory.com/online_n2/History_n2/a.html>. If you want
more specific information, enter the era (e.g. Ancient Greece) or
event (e.g. World War II) in which you are interested, with the word
'timeline', into a search engine and you will usually get a healthy
return.


Online Archives
---------------

One of the ways the internet has been of most use to historians is by
allowing digitised archives to be made widely available. Of course,
many people still prefer to visit the actual archives with their
familiar sights and smells, but by using resources such as Access to
Archives <http://www.a2a.org.uk> they can at least be sure that they
won't have a wasted trip. Access to Archives has digitised records
from a large number of local record offices and by searching on a
keyword you can find where that word appears in archives around the
UK.

Many of the centralised UK archives at the Public Record Office 
<http://www.pro.gov.uk> are also being made available on the web. From
the homepage you can link to their services such as Family Records 
<http://www.familyrecords.gov.uk>, where you can find information on
births, marriages, deaths and more, and the 1901 Census data 
<http://www.census.pro.gov.uk>, which famously crashed when it first
launched because of the sheer weight of traffic. In the US, too, you
can find a lot of information on public records at the National
Archives and Records Administration (NARA) site at 
<http://www.archives.gov>.

Another archival project which will be of use a large number of people
is the digitisation of the Old Bailey records 
<http://www.oldbaileyonline.org>. Records are currently available from
1674 to 1834 and work is ongoing to bring this nearer the present day.

A more varied collection of historical documents, as well as links to
related sites, can be found at the impressive Internet History
Sourcebook Project <http://www.fordham.edu/halsall>. This collection
has been put together by Paul Halsall at Fordham University and has
three main components: Ancient History Sourcebook, Medieval Sourcebook
and Modern History Sourcebook. Almost all of the material is copy-
permitted which means that it can be used in the classroom making it a
great resource for history teachers of all levels.


Academic Publications
---------------------

You can follow what the professional historians are writing formally
in the journals. For those interested in British history, the first
place to look is the Royal Historical Society Bibliography 
<http://www.rhs.ac.uk/bibwel.asp> which contains information on over
300,000 books, articles and chapters from edited books. You will not
find the full-text of any of these publications but you will find an
entry for almost everything that has been published on British
history. Those interested in other areas should consult The History
Journals Guide <http://www.history-journals.de>, a searchable database
of all the major journals, which has the titles arranged
chronologically, thematically and geographically.

The more informal writings of academic historians can be seen in the
various discussion lists, the most famous and useful of which come
under the H-Net umbrella <http://www.h-net.org>. H-Net is a collection
of discussion lists on a large range of topics. Individual lists vary
in how active they are and in their rules of membership but the list
archives are open to anyone and most list homepages have a good
related links section. The individual list that is most worthy of
special mention is H-Net Review <http://www.h-net.org/reviews> which
brings together all of the book reviews published on the other lists.


Academic Websites
-----------------

Many university history departments have useful sites which provide
faculty biographies and related links but there are two academic sites
which deserve a special mention - the Center for History and New Media
(CHNM) and the Institute of Historical Research (IHR). Based at George
Mason University, the CHNM <http://chnm.gmu.edu/index1.html> contains
a number of useful resources, primary amongst which is the History
News Network <http://hnn.us>. This site publishes articles looking at
the 'history behind the headlines', or how the past affects current
affairs, and allows readers to comment on pieces they have read.

The CHNM also provides a Guide to History on the Web 
<http://chnm.gmu.edu/assets/historyweb/historyweb.php> which is a
database of 5000 US and World history websites, which you can search
by type of website, geographical area and topic. The IHR site 
<http://www.history.ac.uk> contains a similar database of websites in
its History Online resource area 
<http://www.history.ac.uk/ihr/Resources/search.html>, this time you
will find a much greater number of results on British history.

All of the sites featured in these collections have been deemed to be
of an academic standard but beyond that there is no way to tell which
are the best - this can be a problem when faced with hundreds of
search results. One attempt to combat this problem is the MERLOT
(Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching)
project <http://www.merlot.org>. This site publishes reviews of
academic websites in all disciplines - History sites can be found in
the 'Humanities' section - and reviews are separated into those which
have been conducted by MERLOT's academic reviewers and those which
have been sent in by users.


Historians
----------

Another part of the IHR's History Online resource is Teachers of
History <http://www.history.ac.uk/ihr/Resources/Teachers>, a list of
UK-based academics which you can browse by institution, research
interest and surname. This is useful if you know the name of a
historian and want to know which institution they are at or if you
want to know who the academic experts in a particular field of history
are.

Once you have found the name and institution of a particular
historian, it is often worth visiting the department's homepage to
find out more. This is where the Center for History and New Media's
Guide to History Departments 
<http://chnm.gmu.edu/assets/historydepts/departments.php> becomes
useful. Here you can search on the name of a university or city and
your search results will all be linked to the history departments which
match your criteria. This is particularly useful because departmental
websites are not always easy to find through university homepages.


Studying History at University
------------------------------

History is one of the most popular subjects at all levels of learning
and courses on it are much in demand. The Guardian's take on the best
History departments 
<http://education.guardian.co.uk/higher/unitable/0,,-4663990,00.html>
is interesting because it tries to take into account the quality of
the teaching at each institution - although the site itself admits
that some of the teaching scores are now out of date.

However, the industry standard score -- the grade achieved in the
Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) -- takes no account of the quality
of teaching. The results for History departments of the last RAE, in
2001, can be found on the Higher Education and Research Opportunities
(HERO) site <http://digbig.com/3wyy>. This is the rating on which a
department's funding is based but it is probably worth looking at both
scores to get a more rounded guide to the best history departments.

Historians spend a lot of their time researching: scouring archives
and leafing through papers trying to discover new things. I have tried
to identify websites which not only represent the best sources of
information on history and historians but also provide opportunities
for people to explore further and conduct a lot of their historical
research on the web.

> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Andrew Humphries is an Associate Managing Editor at Blackwell
Publishing who manages the editorial side of History Compass 
<http://www.history-compass.com> on a day-to-day basis. Before joining
Blackwell in 2001, he completed a BA in History at Royal Holloway
University of London and an MSc in Information Systems at the
University of Sheffield.

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