We are in such a wonderful time for only history resources. I remember when poorly formatted websites and questionable sources were the norm. Now most major universities, museums, and professional organizations have online portals filled to the brim with historical treasures. Here is a quick list of a few I’ve stumbled upon.
The Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest: http://www.washington.edu/uwired/outreach/cspn/Website/Resources/Links.html
What a great resource to begin a research project. The online portal contains lists filled with links for digital collections, history organizations, museums, state/provincial histories, and special topics of interest. Many hours can be spent wandering down the rabbit hole, linking from page to page. A personal favorite of mine is the Asahel Curtis Photo Company Collection. It contains over 1700 photographs of daily life, industry, and scenic views around the Pacific Northwest.
Civil War Pathways: http://pathways.omeka.net
A product of producing an exhibit at the Washington State Historical Society Museum, the Civil War Pathways website creates new thoughts and possibilities. The project (and exhibit) focus on information regarding the land and people in what is now Washington State relating to the American Civil War. Lorraine McConaghy and a team of volunteers across Washington State combed through archives, libraries, and museums to create a scanned, searchable database of their findings. I find the best way to work through the database is using the search box, entering appropriate topics and titles. Entries include scanned images of documents, descriptions, bibliographic information and more. Their work saves a lot of time and energy, and will be most useful to those looking at this underserved topic.
Public History Commons: http://publichistorycommons.org
This project by the National Council on Public History is filled with reference information, blog posts, conversations and professional development leads. The NCPH created the website in 2012 as a place for scholars and others with an interest in the interpretation and showing of history to the public to gather and share ideas. It is regularly updated with professional development links, interesting articles, and a additions to their growing reference library. It is a great place to find out about new projects, ideas, and connections.
A development of the American Antiquarian Society, this website provides free scholarly articles on a variety of subjects on American history before 1900. The goal of the site is provide a less formal location for discussing a very wide portfolio of topics, from literature to politics to architecture to economics. It seeks also to be more formal than a popular magazine. Overall, it is an excellent website, filled with interesting articles that are not riddled with the usual history jargon that can put off the casual reader (or exhaust the more serious one). It has the worthy goal of providing an online presence for a text focus time period that is getting left behind as more websites become multimedia focused. Common-Place is updated October, January, April, and July. I recommend it to anyone looking for a good read on early American life.
I hope my readers enjoy these few websites I have found over the last few months. Please let me know if you have any suggestions. My aspiration is that these sources of knowledge help to inspire engaging, interesting, and just cool historical work.