Internet Reviews

Joni R. Roberts; Carol A. Drost

The Native Peoples of Northern Great Plains Online Digital Images Database. Access:

Hilary Robbeloth, University of Puget Sound,

In 1998, a team from Little Big Horn College, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Museum of the Rockies, and Montana State University (MSU)-Bozeman Library, using a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, digitized and made available images from the library collections of the Little Big Horn College Archives, MSU-Billings Library Special Collections, MSU-Bozeman Merrill G. Burlingame Special Collections Renne Library, MSU-Bozeman Museum of the Rockies Photo Archives, and MSU-Northern in Havre Vande Bogart Library. These images represented tribal members of the Assiniboine, Blackfeet, Cheyenne, Chippewa-Cree, Crow, Kootenai, Nez Perce, Salish (Flathead), Shoshone, and Sioux. In 2012, the database and user interface were upgraded to a scalable set of Web 2.0 systems, supported and maintained by the hosting institution, MSU-Bozeman Library.

The collection consists of more than 1,100 digital images, mostly photographs from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It also includes artwork from the Jessie Wilber Tipi Design Serigraph Portfolio held in the Museum of the Rockies Archives, and the Barstow Ledger Drawings Collection held in the MSU-Billings Library Special Collections. Original treaties held in the MSU-Bozeman Library Special Collections are available, as well. Users are able to copy persistent links and bookmark or share via 290 social media options as they explore these photographs online.

The website has clean lines and a simple design. There are relatively few menus, which persist on every page, and the simple user interface is fairly easy to navigate. Search options include quick search and advanced search. There is a useful preprogrammed browse search based on predefined terms including: tribes, native peoples, locations, dates, artists and photographers, objects types, unique collections, contributor, and subjects. One can contact collection curators via a web form and the same page provides contact information.

Researchers will find this is a wonderful resource of historic photographs and art. The 650-pixel tall images are small by today’s standards, and for most images there is not a lot of context or interpretation provided, so further research outside this collection may be required.

The Pew Charitable Trusts: State and Consumer Initiatives. Access:

Barbara Valentine, Linfield College,

The mission of the independent, nonprofit Pew Charitable Trusts—to “improve public policy, inform the public and stimulate civic life”—may be as ambitious as the massive amount of research it produces. As part of the “Pew on the Web” series, State and Consumer Initiatives highlights issues as they cut across and within the 50 states.

Enjoy browsing this well-designed multimedia website, where visual variety and intelligent navigation combine with content for a rewarding experience. Use the handy interactive map by state to find relevant articles, fact sheets, “Select an Issue” access, and Stateline news features. Alternatively, peruse by “Issues” (such as cities, consumer financial security, families, housing, technology) or “Projects” (children’s dental policy, prepaid cards research, public sector retirement systems, etc.). Or find Research and Analysis via reports, analysis, data visualization, or featured collection. The “News Room” provides press releases, opinions, media coverage, and video or RSS formats.

The persistent header and toolbar along with multiple redundant links help to ensure that visitors will not lose their way as they drill into the site. Each section includes a brief display of the latest articles, featuring report type and meaningful graphics to optimize scanning. If sifting through the mounds of data available becomes daunting, try a keyword search, where results display by relevance with a convenient option to filter by issue, state, project, or content type.

New topical articles, reports, and studies appear daily making this a must-see site for anyone exploring topics about the states. On a given day content may include news on cancer death rates, top states for job creation, a report on federal tax deductions, analysis of election performance in Virginia, and an update on the War on Poverty by state. Interactive objects such as “State of the States 2014” and “Fiscal 50: State Trends and Analysis” offer creative ways to find quick facts and figures.

An army of experts serves the Pew Trusts, directing relevant projects and initiatives from which the voluminous well-researched and documented content issues. And yet the genius of this site is how fun and easy it is to learn so much about what is going on across the states on so many levels. For deep study, reference, or simply discovery, there is something here for every citizen and researcher.

Statistics Canada. Access:

Krista Godfrey, Memorial University of Newfoundland,

Although many federal departments collect statistics, Statistics Canada is the primary government department responsible for statistical data. They “collect, compile, analyse, abstract, and publish statistical information relating to the commercial, industrial, financial, social, economic and general activities and conditions of the people of Canada.” Statistics Canada conducts and publishes a variety of surveys, including the Census of Canada and the National Household Survey. The homepage highlights featured reports and provides easy access to the latest statistical indicators and key resources.

Researchers can browse statistics by broad topics, such as aboriginal peoples, energy, and labor. These broad topics lead to featured reports and further subtopics for exploration. Results are finally grouped into types of resources, including news releases, summary tables, census tables, CANSIM data, publications, and information for analysts and researchers.

The site is also organized by type of user, including analysts and researchers, media, and survey participants. Analysts and researchers can conduct refined searches for studies, research papers, and technical papers. This search page also makes note that certain portions of the site have been archived. These archived portions are not current but are included for reference or context. Statistics Canada also notes that legacy web content has been removed from the website but is maintained internally.

The main website itself has adopted the current look and feel of federal government websites but appears to be in the midst of this transition. A number of links lead to an older look, including the search results. It should be noted that a search for a broad topic, such as oil, can return thousands of results but only the top 500 are provided. There is no option to access the remaining results.

A mobile version of the site is available. The site easily links users to social media accounts for the department and includes a link to a chat with an expert feature. This leads to an archived page with previous chats available for reference but no future sessions are presently planned.

The site is an essential resource to scholars and researchers and provides access to key statistical sources for Canada.

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