Internet Reviews

Joni R. Roberts; Carol A. Drost

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Access:

John Creech, Central Washington University,

Now celebrating its 50th year, and with a current count of over 71,000 species, this wide-ranging information service from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has assessed and updated the status of threatened species for decades on a global scale “in order to highlight taxa threatened with extinction, and therefore promote their conservation.”

Users may search or browse by a wide range of categories, from species of “Least Concern” to “Extinct in the Wild” and “Extinct,” and also may limit by a broad range of criteria that include taxonomy, location, habitats, threats, life history, and more. Individual records contain extensive taxonomy, assessment, and threats information, as well as descriptions of geographic range, range maps, and habitat and ecology data.

The easy-to-use search features allow one to winnow data by numerous criteria, with each simple step consisting of expanding and drilling down through a list of sub-categories. One can quickly and easily search by common name, e.g., polar bear. Users may also narrow by location to a specific land region or FAO marine area such as native U.S. terrestrial species.

Narrowing next by taxonomy, one can easily browse through further selections—from animalia to chordata to mammalia and on down to the species level to retrieve the record for Ursus maritimus, the polar bear.

The individual item record for the species contains a wealth of credible data in an easy-to-read format. The initial summary screen for the species will include lengthy discussions of assessment data, geographic range, habitat and ecology, threats, and conservation actions. “Images & External Links” directs the user to external databases such as The Encyclopedia of Life, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, and the Catalogue of Life for further study. Finally, bibliographies accompanying each entry contain credible citations sometimes totaling in the dozens for further review.

The News section contains hundreds of articles dating back to 2008, any of which might provide students an excellent introduction to topics for further research. The related links at the conclusion of individual news articles lead to an array of materials of interest, from descriptions of conferences in the topical areas to excellent photo galleries, case studies, specialized databases of relevance, conservation plans and organizations, and global nongovernmental organizations. Numerous summary statistical tables are available, including those of category changes, endemic species by country, summaries by country, and more.

With the goal of increasing the species covered from 71,000 to 160,000 by 2020, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species will provide students and faculty alike with a wealth of critical data on endangered and threatened species worldwide.

The Museum of Jewish Heritage. Access:

Karen Evans, Indiana State University,

The Museum of Jewish Heritage: A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, located in New York was opened in 1997. The museum views its role as educating all ages, races, and creeds about Jewish life “before, during and after the Holocaust.”

“Exhibitions & Collections” contains information on current and upcoming exhibits. These exhibits portray a variety of issues, including Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage, and Against the Odds (American Jews and the rescue of European refugees). Also included is the core exhibit, which is organized around three themes: Jewish life a century ago, the war against the Jews, and Jewish renewal.

The museum uses a rotating collection of around 25,000 pieces (artifacts, photographs, films) to show the Holocaust within the framework of Jewish life. The collection can be searched online via simple or advanced options. The many interesting items in the collection are definitely worthy of perusal. Highlights include a Torah textile and personal items, such as letters, cards, and photographs. Among the unique items is a ticket to an American Jewish Congress Mass Demonstration against persecution in Germany held March 27, 1933, at Madison Square Garden.

“Learn” offers a “variety of dynamic online curricula and resources to help students learn about Jewish history and heritage.” The teacher section provides student workbooks, teacher guides, and books for a nominal fee. Information is provided on meeting the Common Core standards. The museum offers workshops and seminars for teachers, and tours and educational programs for teachers and students. A calendar provides information on general and family events, highlighting current and upcoming events.

The site is well organized and easy to navigate, with access to unique and fascinating exhibits and memorabilia. Students and researchers, as well as the general public, will find this site of interest.

Walt Whitman Archive. Access:

Delores Carlito, University of Alabama-Birmingham,

The Walt Whitman Archive is an online archive of all things Walt Whitman. It contains Whitman’s writings, secondary research about him and his works, translations of his works, actual handwritten documents, pictures, and even what is believed to be a recording of his voice reading lines from the poem “America.” The archive is provided by the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The Walt Whitman Archive is divided into six sections about Walt Whitman and one “About the Archive” section: “Published Works,” “In Whitman’s Hand,” “Life and Letters,” “Commentary,” “Pictures and Sound,” and “Resources.” Under each section name is a subdivision of its contents. For example, under “Published Works” are the subsections “Books by Whitman,” “Periodicals,” and “Translations.” Some of the items under the subheadings link to other sites, but most sections have content created by the archive.

The site is very easy to navigate, and the sections are self-explanatory. It is well organized, and once the user navigates off the main page, the major headings appear at the top of the page.

The archive is impressive and dynamic. The reader can find books by Whitman, including the six American editions of Leaves of Grass, page images and transcriptions of poems that appeared in periodicals, and book-length translations of his work. Some of the more unique objects on the site are the items in Whitman’s own handwriting. These manuscripts, pages from his notebooks, and other documents have page images, transcriptions, and, for items that have edits, the transcribed notations.

Since this is an archive of all things Whitman, it does not stop with his writing but continues to secondary sources with a selection of criticism and commentary. Much of the criticism is immediately available in PDF or HTML. This section also contains a searchable bibliography of articles, books, book chapters, and even poems about Whitman from 1838 to present.

It would be easy to go on and on about the resources on this site (Syllabi! Images! Recordings! Biographies of his disciples!), but users really need to explore the site on their own. This site is essential for anyone studying Whitman, and it is fascinating for the general Whitman reader.

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