Internet Reviews

Joni R. Roberts; Carol A. Drost


Forestry Images. Access: http://www.forestryimages.org/.

Peter Johnson, Western Carolina University, peterj@wcu.edu

Launched in 2001 by the University of Georgia’s Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health, Forestry Images is one of the interfaces to the Bugwood Network Image Archives. Along with Forestry Images, IPM Images, Insect Images, and Invasive.org, all provide access to the Bugwood image database from different subject perspectives.

Researchers, educators, and students of all levels with interest in pests, diseases, invasive species, and silvicultural practices that have an economic impact on forests, will find Forestry Images a useful resource. The site includes more than 140,000 photographic images intended for download and use under Creative Commons licensing. A check of the “What’s New” link on the statistics page showed dozens of new images were available the day of this review.

Lower resolution images can be downloaded individually by guests, but for access to other features, you must register for an account. Registered users have the ability to download at higher resolutions and in batches, and to contribute their own images to the database. Image entries provide common/scientific names and other descriptors, licensing information, and links for download in various resolutions. The images are reviewed for content and quality, and most are free to use without permission, with proper attribution.

The directory in the center of the home-page allows users to browse images by subject terms such as “Forest Pests,” “Trees, Plants, and Stand Types,” and “Silvicultural Practices.” The left navigation pane contains links to FAQs, help pages, related sites, and other browsing categories (“Photographers,” “Organization,” and “Location”).Users who intend to download images will want to follow the link to “Using Images,” which will take them to a good explanation of types of Creative Commons licenses and how to properly cite the images they use. The right-hand column serves up random photos from the database, and links to news entries from the Bugwood Blog.

Using the directory can be somewhat confusing, but for users who know exactly what they are looking for, a search box at the top right of the banner offers effective keyword searching. “Advanced Search” indexes the photographer, subject, scientific name, and image number fields, as well.

Although there are other online image galleries with similar content, this resource is distinguished by its focused and accessible collection of high-quality photographs, and relative ease of use.

John F. Kennedy Library and Museum. Access: http://www.jfklibrary.org/.

Mark A. Stoffan, Western Carolina University, mstoffan@wcu.edu

The John F. Kennedy Library and Museum serves as a memorial to the 35th President of the United States and is one of 13 presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. The site contains a wealth of information on John F. Kennedy as well as the times in which he lived. It is a resource for academic scholars as well as students and members of the general public.

The site is well organized and easy to use. The main page contains a series of pull-down menus with sections on Kennedy, his family, and information for visitors, researchers, teachers, and students. Material from the collections covers Kennedy’s early years through his World War II service, his entry into politics, and finally the presidency. Much material relates to Kennedy’s associates and his contemporaries. One prominent collection not directly related to Kennedy is the Ernest Hemingway Papers, acquired in 1968 due to the personal efforts of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

Online exhibits include photographs, videos, and interactive media covering subjects such as the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Peace Corps. A section about artifacts held by the library includes material ranging from Mrs. Kennedy’s dress collection to gifts presented to the Kennedys by various heads of state. Images are clear and may be enlarged for closer examination.

Researchers may search the archives or browse by subject. Subject browsing terms include such topics as agriculture, the Bay of Pigs Invasion, health, national parks and reserves, and the Vietnam War. So much information is available on the site that several days would be needed to review all the material.

Resources for schoolteachers include curricular guides for a variety of grade levels, and material and lesson plans for civics classes. Also available is information about workshops and institutes for educators offered by the library and the associated JFK Foundation. For students, there are sections about the space program, the civil rights movement, and bibliographies of resources about general American history, along with information about internships and educational programs.

Overall, this site is very well organized and managed. It is an essential resource for anyone interested in the Kennedy administration or mid-20th century American history and politics.

Wikimedia Commons. Access: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page.

Sarah Goodwin Thiel, University of Kansas, sgthiel@ku.edu

Wikimedia Commons is a media repository that makes available public domain and freely licensed image, sound, and video files. Like its sister project, Wikipedia, the Wikimedia Foundation hosts Wikimedia Commons. Implemented in 2004 and currently providing free access to more than 10 million records, the Commons is powered by wiki-technology and is continually used and contributed to by multiple members. It holds a dual role by providing free access to a broad range of public domain media content and by serving as the common media repository for all the projects hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation. Wikimedia Commons is only one of several wiki-based projects sponsored by the Foundation; others include Wikinews, Wikiveristy, Wikiquote, and Wiktionary.

For those of us who think visually and find ourselves looking for images to supplement our ideas and understanding, Wikimedia Commons may be the best find yet from the foundation. Quality images covering a wide range of topics are easily accessible, each comes with a full metadata record and, when necessary, clearly articulated attribution information. Images are freely available and the repository grows daily through contributions from books, journals, cultural heritage organizations, photographers, and researchers around the world.

The Wikimedia Commons homepage offers direct access to images by topic: nature, science, society and engineering, as well as by location, type, author, license, and source. Picture and media files are highlighted each day on the site, as are images that represent each day of the year. Information on searching the collections, using selected media files and contributing your own work, or your institution’s, is also available from the homepage. Users can subscribe to an RSS feed for daily updated information or to receive Wikimedia Commons’ selected Picture of the Day e-mail messages.

Visitors interested in browsing a straightforward, easily navigated source for public domain image and audiovisual files will be pleased with Wikimedia Commons. Usergenerated media files, contributed by libraries, museums, and photographers from around the world, lead users to even more comprehensive, in-depth collections. This site makes it easy to find public domain media files along with accurate, well-considered information about using those files legally and fairly.

Copyright 2011© American Library Association

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