Internet Reviews

Joni R. Roberts; Carol A. Drost


Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum. Access: http://www.fdrlibrary.marist.edu/.

Joshua Lupkin, Southern Methodist University, jlupkin@mail.smu.edu

The Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) Presidential Library and Museum is an institution operated since 1941 by the National Archives and Records Administration in New York State. At time of writing, its Web site is fully accessible with an updated Web browser, including Flash, with an additional application for viewing PDF files.

The FDR Library’s research resources fall primarily within the field of U.S. political history, as well as international affairs and public policy, in the 1930s and 1940s. The site is intended for a broad range of users, including K–12 students, college students, teachers, and the general public. Digitized primary sources are made available on the site, including speeches, memorabilia, and official and personal letters.

The site promotes the facility and its collections, introduces scholarship on the FDR administration, and provides logistical information to those planning an in-person visit. The site design, functional and attractive in a basic way, satisfies these goals but contains some broken links. The “Search our Collections” page is a gateway to approximately 400 finding guides to manuscript collections, which have been digitized from typescripts and made available as PDF files. There are no EAD-compliant finding guides. An online catalog to books in the collection is provided.

The FDR Library provides targeted selection of digitized primary sources for online researchers. The “Search Our Collections” page contains sections for photographs and documents, which can be separately browsed and searched. Web exhibits on such topics as “FDR and the War” and “German Diplomacy Files” contain some significant materials in full text. Those attempting more advanced research on the FDR administration may require more substantial document collections, but undergraduates should find the site a useful starting point.

Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute. Access: http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu/index.php.

Emily Hamstra, University of Michigan, ehamstra@umich.edu

The Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute offers a collection of primary and secondary sources related to Martin Luther King Jr. The institute’s major projects include the King Papers Project, the Liberation Curriculum, and provision of resources and news related to King and civil rights.

The institute, housed at Stanford University, was charged by Coretta Scott King to publish the papers of Martin Luther King Jr. Clicking on the “King Papers Project” at the top of the screen will bring users to the main page of the Papers Project. Under the heading “Publications” is a link to the Papers of Martin Luther King Jr. This brings the user to a list of volumes of King’s papers. Transcripts of the letters can be read on the Web site. Transcripts of papers from 1929 to 1963 are freely available, and viewable through each volume’s table of contents. The papers can be searched through the search box at the top of the screen. The search functions best when defaulted to “search all text” rather than to “search title.” To search which libraries and archives own the original documents by King, the institute has created a searchable database, the Online King Records Access. The “King Papers Project” page also contains reviews of new publications related to King.

In addition to the King Papers Project, the institute has created a Liberation Curriculum (LC). The LC includes lesson plans related to the “Letter from Birmingham Jail” and the Montgomery Bus Boycott, among others. The LC is closely aligned with California State content educational standards.

The “King Resources” tab combines resources from the King Papers Project, the Liberation Curriculum, and sources outside the institute. Much of the content on this page is available elsewhere on the institute’s Web site. The resources on this page are organized by source type or topic (e.g., sermons, communities, audio/video/media). Users may find this page frustrating as it contains many broken links.

The Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute site is a crucial King resource. Though the search functionalities are limited, and the pages are sometimes disorganized and in need of updating, free entree to the King Papers and the Online King Records Access make this an essential resource for any academic library.

OSA Archivum. Access: http://www.osaarchivum.org/.

Todd J. Wiebe, Hope College Libraries, wiebe@hope.edu

OSA (Open Society Archives) Archivum is an “archival laboratory” at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. Its traditional onsite collections of approximately 7,000 linear meters are divided into three main groups: “Communism and the Cold War,” “Human Rights,” and the “Soros Foundations.” The main focus of these collections is post-World War II Central and Eastern European history. OSA Archivum Web site serves as a portal to these collections as well as to a number of digital/online history projects that OSA is involved with.

A comprehensive list of “OSA Fonds,” many with detailed finding aids, is available on the “Collections” page, as are links to OSA’s library and film library holdings. There is also a small photo gallery of digitized images from the archives. “Publications” contains more in-depth thematic finding aids for various collections. These are followed by a bibliography (some full-text links) of the research produced at OSA as well as other publications by OSA staff. The “News” section is essentially a blog, highlighting developments, special exhibits, and information about OSA projects and events.

OSA also has an exhibition hall called the “Galleria Centralis.” Detailed descriptions of exhibitions dating back to 1996 are available in the browsable online catalog. Currently, 19 of the exhibitions have accompanying “virtual exhibitions” (six in Hungarian, eight in English, and five in both languages), which document and expand upon their physical counterparts. The “OSA TV” page contains video recordings of several exhibitions and other events (lectures, etc.). Another interesting feature is the “Parallel Archive” (beta), which is a “an open source Web 2.0 content storage and creation tool that allows scholars in the humanities and social sciences to manage, share, and preserve their primary source archival documents.”

Overall, OSA Archivum contains quality descriptive information for its on-site archives and access to its select digital content. Users may not find it the most intuitive of sites to navigate, but the search box embedded in the banner across the top of every page provides a useful way to search the entire Web site or just the collections. For primary research in mid-20th-century Central and Eastern European history, OSA Archivum would be a worthwhile site to check out.

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