Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Internet Archive – Wayback Machine

As the number of new dot com failures has risen, previously existing Web sites have ceased operations and their information content has vanished into the Web's past. Web pages were created, changed, and died, with no record of those pages being retained.

The Internet Archive has been storing Web pages , including graphics files, since 1996 from publicly accessible Web sites. With the October 2001 launch of the Wayback Machine, this huge archive is now freely available to the Web public.

The Wayback Machine is a front end to the Internet Archive's collection of public Web pages. It includes more than 100 terabytes of date. The Wayback Machine provides access to this wealth of data by URLs. It is not text searchable—a user needs to know the exact URL of a particular Web page, or at least the Web site, to be able to enter the archive.

There are many uses for the archive from the Wayback Machine. It is a great source to find the information on pages when the page or host itself is unavailable. When you come across a "404 not found" or similar message on the Web, just check on the Wayback Machine to find a copy of the page as it used to look.

Historical researchers can now view significant portions of the Web as it existed at various times from 1996 to the present. Sources lost because of complex URL shifting can be found by their old URL on the Wayback Machine. To checkout this Internet archive of vanished web pages visit http://www.archive.org

Friday, August 26, 2005

An exciting new database
The Library now offers access to In the First Person, an index to letters, diaries, oral histories, and personal narratives. It includes more than 2500 collections of oral histories in English from around the world. By the end of this year, there will be 350,000 pages of full-text material available to you.

For example, if you were writing a research paper on Crazy Horse, a prominent Sioux leader from the nineteenth century, you could search for his name in In the First Person and find a 1930 interview of Red Feather, his contemporary.

This interview would offer a different perspective from a book written much later by someone who had never met Crazy Horse. It would help you to write a better research paper.

In the First Person can be accessed from theLibrary's Articles and Databases page. Try it out, and let the librarians know what you think of it.

Monday, August 22, 2005

New Database for Controversial Topics!
Are you planning to give a speech or write a paper on a controversial topic? The Library has a new database that will help you choose a topic and understand the arguments on both sides of the issue.The Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center gives you online access to the Opposing Viewpoints book series published by Greenhaven Press. In addition to the pro/con chapters from these books, the database also includes statistics, primary documents, links to websites, and full-text periodical articles. The database is an excellent place to choose a topic or start your research.You may access the database at the library or you may use it from anywhere off-campus with the current password. Contact us for more information.
Off-campus access to databases:
Each semester the passwords for off-campus access to our databases change. Faculty, staff, and currently-enrolled students may have the new ones. To get the new passwords from the Reference Desk in the Library, a student must have a current semester sticker (available at the One-Stop Center or at the Student Activities Office in the Student Center) and a SWC photo ID card (available at the Student Activities Office).

Students, faculty, and staff may request the passwords online and have them sent to the requester's email address. The Library staff will first verify current enrollment for a student request.