621_reviews

Internet Reviews

Joni R. Roberts is associate university librarian for public services and collection development at Willamette University, email: jroberts@willamette.edu, and Carol A. Drost is associate university librarian for technical services at Willamette University, email: cdrost@willamette.edu

CSU Japanese American History Digitization Project: A Collaborative Digital History Project of the California State University Libraries. Access: http://csujad.com/index.html.

The California State University Japanese American History Digitization Project (CSUJAD), generated by California State University (CSU) Libraries, tells the story of 20th-century Japanese Americans. Starting with their migration to the United States, the project follows their unjust incarceration from 1942 to 1946 through the redress movement—more than 60 years of fighting for restitution, recognition, and compensation from the U.S. government.

CSUJAD, currently hosted by CSU-Dominguez Hills, is a comprehensive collection of primary source material, including documents, oral histories, photographs, and media related to the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. Collection items are selected from the archives of 14 CSU campuses. The project is supported through grants awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Park Service, and others. With continued funding, the project is expected to grow to more than 10,000 items by the end of 2018.

The central purpose of the CSUJAD project is twofold: “to improve access to CSU archival collections about the history of Japanese Americans and to develop a functional model for ongoing planning and collaboration among the CSU archival and library community.” The site offers a well-documented, easy-to-use digitization toolkit, which includes a technical reference guide, data dictionary, metadata guidelines, and controlled vocabulary lists. These readily accessible tools guide content contributors in the creation of high-quality, detailed, easily navigable digital images and collections providing consistency across all archives represented.

Website visitors will be pleased with the extensive access they now have to the 14 CSU archives rich in unique materials representing this topic of local, state, and national importance. Individual archives can be searched separately or the full consortium of archives can be searched at once using the search box or by browsing suggested topics. In addition, the CSUJAD site hosts an excellent online exhibit. Interpretive narratives and selected items provide visitors with an extensive history of this troubled period. An elegantly designed suite of print-ready, freely available posters, including a Japanese American Timeline, adds to the exhibit offerings.

The CSUJAD project provides a complex, detailed look at the history of 20th-century Japanese Americans. The remarkable depth of this site makes it a great resource for scholars and general interest visitors alike.—Sarah Goodwin Thiel, University of Kansas Libraries, sgthiel@ku.edu

Water Resources of the United States, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Access: https://www.usgs.gov/science/mission-areas/water.

The Water Resources site serves as a central portal into the nation’s water information system. The newly redesigned site has a much cleaner and contemporary feel, which is reflected throughout the entire USGS site. Much of the site’s content consists of data and USGS publications, both of which are highlighted on the main page.

This site incorporates navigation to water-specific resources (top navigation bar), plus the general USGS site (left navigation bar). Attribution links have recently been added, and they serve as controlled subject terms and tags that lead users to related information throughout the USGS and Water Resources sites. This allows researchers to discover related materials that might have been hidden away in a different branch of the USGS website.

The main sections within the Water Resources site are “Science,” “Data and Tools,” “Maps,” “Publications,” “Software,” “Multimedia,” “News,” “Connect,” and “Partners.” Most of these pages include dropdown bars that helpfully limit results to physical location, year, or other specific limiters.

“Data and Tools” contains data from the National Water Information System gathered from roughly 1.5 million monitoring sites throughout all 50 states and U.S. territories. The data are organized around the most commonly researched categories of surface water, ground water, water quality, and water use. Researchers can find location-specific water data through the interactive national Mapper. More sophisticated users can retrieve specific monitoring sites by street address, place name, site number, state/territory, or watershed region. Monitoring sites can be refined by specific limiters, such as daily water collect data, peak data, instantaneous data, and more. To get the data, one clicks on the site marker on the national map and then selects “Access Data.”

According to Water Resource’s mission, this site also promotes education about water systems, such as streamed video webcasts from research seminar series and related topics (e.g., earthquakes and marine ecology). “News” includes literature written by USGS and partner organizations. “Science” focuses on the collection and analysis of water-related data, and the implications and impact that the data might have.

Note: At the time of this review, USGS was in the process of adding content from the legacy website. Students majoring in environmental or atmospheric studies will find this site of interest.—John Repplinger, Willamette University, jrepplin@willamette.edu

World Energy Council. Access: https://www.worldenergy.org.

Accredited by the United Nations, the World Energy Council is an organization with membership comprised of organizations, corporations, academic institutions, and government agencies from more than 90 countries. The organization’s focus is the promotion and support of “sustainable energy systems.” Visitors to the site may learn more about the structure, history, and mission of the organization through an excellent three-minute video that provides both overview of the council and current challenges that face the global energy sector. An introductory brochure may be downloaded in nine languages, including English.

The website’s responsive design adapts well to smartphones and tablets with its clear and uncluttered layout. A basic search box and top navigation allow users to quickly explore the site. Scrolling images and teasers feature current news relating to events, publications, and actions of the council. Links at the top of the homepage imply the ability to switch the interface to other languages, however those links point to the download page for the descriptive brochure in those languages.

Visitors to the site may track relevant news relating to the organization, recent meetings and conferences, and developments in the global energy sector. A link to the council’s YouTube channel leads to a selection of presentations from their 2016 World Energy Congress. The site provides access to a long list of World Energy Council reports and studies, all of which are available for free download after a required registration. Publications may be filtered by topic or year of publication, with an archive from 2005.

World Energy Council provides several datasets that feature tables and infographics. A couple of them may be manipulated so that users may learn how global issues affect the energy sector. The “Energy Trilemma Index” is particularly interesting with its country rankings based on energy sustainability, security, and equity. The Pathway Calculator tool allows users to experiment with changing metrics to see how it affects country ranking and scores. The “Energy Efficiency Policies and Measures” database tracks efficiency policies in 96 countries and gives access to survey results, policy case studies, and energy efficiency indicators.

World Energy Council’s website is an excellent resource for students who are interested in current issues in the global energy sector with its combination of data tools and reports.—Ann Flower, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, aflower@miis.edu

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