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Library will be closed Sat. and Sun. 2/26/11-2/27/11

We will be open from 9:00 am to 4:45 pm during the intersession, starting tomorrow, Friday, 2/25/11 and from Monday, 2/28/11 to Sunday 3/6/11. Enjoy the break!

Encyclopedia entries about George Washington aren’t all exactly the same.

[Image from NARA, The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration]

One of Wikipedia's positive aspects is that it sometimes reflects recent discoveries better than out-of-date reference books. You wouldn't think that historical details like the cause of George Washington's death would be an example of something that was recently revised. Apparently recent historical scholarship questions the previously accepted story, that he died from a cold or quinsy, and suggests that it might have been the popular medical treatment at the time, bloodletting, that might have been the actual cause. A historical essay from the 1997 collection, American Eras called "The Death of George Washington, " (available via Gale Virtual Reference Library) covers this re-evaluation thoroughly.

The online 2004 Encyclopedia Americana entry for George Washington is lengthy and describes his death with one line: "Washington contracted a cold and died on Dec. 14, 1799, after a two-day illness." The print 2005 (15th edition) of Encyclopaedia Britannica mentions that he was bled but does not state any cause of death plainly. The online edition of World Book describes the bloodletting treatment but says that "present-day doctors believe the illness was a streptococcal infection of the throat." And the Wikipedia entry? It doesn't give a cause of death in the text, but summarizes everything in a footnote. Of course, since this happened so long ago, no one can know for sure.

The Library will be closed on Mon. 2/21/11, Washington’s Birthday

The Library will re-open, regular hours on Tuesday, 2/22/11.

Did you know that you can stream full-length documentaries such as this one about George Washington from the database American History in Video? Check out a 45 minute episode from the History Channel series, The Revolution, called "A President And His Revolution." There are over 5000 videos available from sources like A&E, History Channel, PBS, California Newsreel and more.

Google Weddings?!

Announcements like this ("Google Wants to Plan Your Wedding") have inspired folks like Siva Vaidhyanathan to write about "The Googlization of Everything." Come on, Google - wedding sweepstakes? Get back to fixing search already.

Michael Arrington at TechCrunch is one of the many recent critics who have grown frustrated with poor results for any searches other than the most obvious, site-based ones. From the posting "Search Still Sucks": "...Demand Media is worth $1.6 billion, and their entire business is based on pushing cheap, useless content into Google to get a few stray links. If Google was good at search, Demand Media wouldn't exist. And Bing wouldn't be making solid gains in search market share. And JC Penney wouldn't be able to massively game search results for a few months, during the holiday season, without getting caught until months later." Nor would that con artist in Brooklyn so easily succeed in gaming the ranking of his online business.

Check out the database Black Thought and Culture

Have you taken a look at the library database Black Thought and Culture? Black Thought and Culture includes lots of full-text ebooks, essays, articles, speeches, and interviews including the works of Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois, Carter G. Woodson, Alain Locke, Mary McLeod Bethune, Booker T. Washington, Marcus Garvey, Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, Zora Neale Hurston, Ralph Bunche, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., Angela Davis,Thurgood Marshall, James Baldwin, Jesse Jackson, Ida B. Wells, Bobby Seale, Cornel West, Michael Eric Dyson and many others. Access is also provided to the first-ever complete full run of the Black Panther newspaper from 1967 to 1980 in PDF format.

Library Closed on Friday 2/11/11, Lincoln’s Birthday

The Library will be closed on Friday, 11 Feb. 2011 in honor of Lincoln's Birthday. No classes will be scheduled. We will be open the following Saturday, regular hours.

Take a look at the library database Biography Reference Bank for images, biographies and scholarly articles about Abraham Lincoln. An interesting recent example from the Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association covers the debate between Lincoln and African American abolitionist H. Ford Douglas: "The Other Lincoln-Douglas Debate: The Race Issue in a Comparative Context."