Saturday, March 5, 2016

Fantastic Find: Your Library Card

image from the Amazon page

I just checked out a book from the library called "American Decades: 1900-1909" which is part of a series of reference books edited by Vincent Tompkins and published by Gale Research.  After thumbing through it for about an hour I went ahead and purchased a used copy from Amazon for a pittance.

The following Library Journal review from Stephen L. Hupp (University of Pittsburgh) gives a good overview of the contents:
This is the latest installment of the Gale series documenting the history and social trends of this country during the 20th century. This volume covers the decade when America emerged as a world power, saw its population shift from the farm to the city, watched government challenge big business for the first time, and did little as African Americans continued to lose political and civil rights. Following the format established in previous volumes, the 13 chapters cover history, politics, law, economics, culture, and sports. Each chapter opens with a chronology, followed by a brief essay highlighting the decade's significant events. The main section offers essays on selected people and topics, and the chapter closes with a collection of biographies and a bibliography of period writings. Accenting the text are period photographs, drawings, and other art works. Coverage of each topic is balanced in terms of both the elite and common people and the high arts and everyday affairs. No new additional information appears in this work. Rather, the accessible tone, good index, nice arrangement, and wide coverage makes this a useful reference book or introduction for patrons unfamiliar with this fascinating period. Recommended for school, public, and undergraduate libraries.
Good stuff all in one place!  Now I can refine my understanding what my American ancestors in that decade were living through, and can play around with my timelines to see if and how the events in the book affected what my ancestors did.

There are only a few book copies of this work to check out (most of them are reference, which means they have to remain in the library), but you don't have to step foot in a physical library to get the same info today, provided you have a library card (in this case, with the San Diego Public Library, but I believe that most if not all public library systems offer similar options).

The front page has tabs and when you click on "eCollection" it takes you to the articles and databases area:

After a disclaimer, a new page will open and you will see all the subscription databases available:

It takes quite a few steps and new tabs/windows, but we're almost there lol

Subscription databases with a history focus that are available from SDPL. I think some of their genealogy ones have to be used in-library.

After looking around the "U.S. History in Context" and "World History in Context" I realized that they could be searched from the same page:

It turns out that the contents of the American Decades series is included with the library card.  Not too shabby!  

I checked to see if articles in the print book "American Decades: 1900-1909" were the same online, and they were.

© 2016 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

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