HIS 218
Unit 8: The Information Age

The old railroad station in Khabarovsk, Siberia, Russia. Photo credit T. T. Hammond.
Blue Separator Bar

Short introduction

Having just discussed the need to digitize historical material, we know take a look at where can you find materials that have already been digitized and are usually found in online collections or in library databases. There are more and more items daily becoming available to historians on the web. This will help you in locating materials for use on your final project.

What you must do in this unit

  • Read Rosenzweig's textbook (chapter 5: Building an Audience)
  • Read this week's note. There are great databases for online materials (especially newspapers) and scholarly articles now available.
  • Watch the video for this unit of the course on ItunesU for NVCC (look for HIS 295) or on YouTube.
  • Have a look at the NVCC library page, with all of its fabulous research links. I prefer to use VIVA's alphabetical list of resources when I am starting on a project. You can often find online resources (not listed in VIVA) at other major university library websites. WorldCat is a great resource!
  • We've already noted some local public libraries in unit 2, and many of them also have selected resource databases, which you usually have to access on site in the library.
  • Not sure where to put on the syllabus WordSeer, so I just decided to list it here as an example of a brand new software tool that I haven't figured out how to use yet.


  • Submit your project proposal (50 points): (a) a formal, one-page proposal (required assignment) that outlines the topic of your project (You can always change this), the kind of resources and materials that you might use and the technology that might be necessary to complete the project. Be sure to include if any materials in online database or archival resources will be useful for your project, or where you might have to go for materials. Please make sure that you take account of what Rosenzweig has to say in his chapter 5; (b) if you have any, please indicate the resources that you have already located.
  • Post on your blog (10 points) (a) a paragraph summary of your project proposal and (b) also a quick note of the kind of informational databases that you might be able to use at the local libraries.
  • Submit the URL of your blog post on Canvas for grading.
  • Post on the discussion board a quick summary of your proposal.

Extra credit options

  • Please suggest a website or online materials relevant to this unit of the course.

Unit learning objectives

  • Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to (1) locate historical source and secondary materials on the web using available databases and (2) appreciate the difficulties involved in finding online digital materials.

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