Saturday, June 23, 2007

Archaeoblogging Project: Your Nearest Archaeological Site

Here is a great idea by Martin Rundkvist! I will contribute and I hope a lot of you do too.

Archaeoblogging Project: Your Nearest Archaeological Site

Here's an idea for bloggers with an archaeological bent. I'm thinking of putting together a one-off carnival about people's nearest archaeological sites. You go to the nearest site you're aware of, snap a picture of it and explain (in as many or few words you like) the site's significance and life-history in a blog entry. Then you send me the link, and when I've got a fair number, I put them together in a link-fest, plug it on Reddit & Co, everybody votes for it and we all get a traffic spike. You don't need any formal qualifications to contribute. Sound like fun? Please leave a comment if you're interested.

--- Martin Rundkvist Stockholm, Sweden

Thursday, June 21, 2007

EBSCO Acquires Two Renowned Databases from ABC-CLIO: Historical Abstracts and America: History and Life

To those of us who use Historical Abstracts and America: History and Life on a regular basis, this press release will be of interest:

EBSCO Publishing and ABC-CLIO Reach Historic Agreement
~ EBSCO Acquires Two Renowned Databases from ABC-CLIO: Historical Abstracts and America: History and Life ~

IPSWICH, MA/SANTA BARBARA, CA — June 15, 2007 — ABC-CLIO and EBSCO Publishing today announced a new alliance that will benefit history scholars, teachers, and students around the world. This move marks an unprecedented partnership between EBSCO, the leading online research database provider, and ABC-CLIO, the leading provider of history resources. As part of the undertaking, EBSCO has acquired two of ABC-CLIO’s renowned databases: Historical Abstracts (HA) and America: History and Life (AHL), and will distribute eight additional award-winning history databases in addition to ABC-CLIO’s online history eBook collection, History Reference Online.

The partnership leverages ABC-CLIO’s expertise in the area of history with EBSCO’s significant content licensing, digitization, and distribution capabilities. Ron Boehm, CEO of ABC-CLIO, said the following about the sale of HA and AHL: “Scholars around the world will benefit from the combined full text from EBSCO and over fifty years of history indexing and abstracting expertise from ABC-CLIO. With this partnership, over 1.3 million citations and abstracts, over 600,000 full-text links, and hundreds of thousands of full-text journal articles will be at the fingertips of researchers around the world.” ABC-CLIO editorial staff will continue producing content for the databases and Historical Abstracts and America: History and Life will be made available via EBSCOhost®. Said Boehm, “Our editorial teams look forward to working with EBSCO staff to provide more value than ever to our users over the coming years.”

As announced previously, EBSCO and ABC-CLIO also reached agreement on a new distribution partnership that makes the following ABC-CLIO databases available through EBSCO Publishing:

· World History: The Modern Era—winner of 7 “best of” awards
· World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras—winner of 5 “best of” awards
· World Geography: Understanding a Changing World—winner of 6 “best of” awards
· American History—winner of 9 “best of” awards
· American Government—winner of 9 “best of” awards
· State Geography—winner of 5 “best of” awards
· Issues: Understanding Controversy and Society—newly released award winner
· United States at War: Understanding Conflict and Society—winner of 4 “best of” awards
· History Reference Online—a newly released collection of reference eBooks

Becky Snyder, president of ABC-CLIO, said: “We’re committed to being the best provider in the area of history, employing our expertise and our work with scholars and educators to produce resources that go beyond facts and figures to challenge students to think critically about our world. Partnering with EBSCO to distribute these resources will allow us to reach even more schools and libraries with these award-winning databases.”

With this new partnership, libraries will be able to enjoy the convenience of working with their EBSCO representatives to consolidate orders for ABC-CLIO databases with orders for EBSCOhost® databases. The databases will continue to be accessed via ABC-CLIO platforms, so customers will experience the same renowned content through familiar interfaces with the added benefit of combined ordering through the EBSCO sales team.

Tim Collins, president of EBSCO Publishing, said: “We are extremely excited about this partnership. Our relationship with ABC-CLIO will enable expanded access to some truly remarkable resources. As always, we remain committed to adding value for librarians and researchers in the research process.” Collins continued: “As a company that remains committed to growth, and one of the largest licensors and digitizers of content in the world, we are delighted and honored to be able to work with ABC CLIO to enhance and expand history resources for teachers, students, and scholars.”

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

History of Kazakhstan

History of Kazakhstan. This is a brief history of the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan in Asia. Yeah, it is hard to spell and I bet most Americans are clueless as to where it is! (Hint: It is right next to Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan.)

The Encyclopædia Britannica notes, "Country of Central Asia. It is bounded on the northwest and north by Russia, on the east by China, and on the south by Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and the Aral Sea; the Caspian Sea bounds Kazakhstan to the southwest. Kazakhstan is the largest country in Central Asia and the ninth largest in the world. Between its most distant points Kazakhstan measures about 1,820 miles (2,930 kilometres) east to west and 960 miles north to south."

From the site:

Nomadic tribes have been living in the region that is now Kazakhstan since the first century BC. From the fourth century AD through the beginning of the 13th century, the territory of Kazakhstan was ruled by a series of nomadic nations. Following the Mongolian invasion in the early 13th century, administrative districts were established under the Mongol Empire, which eventually became the territories of the Kazakh Khanate. The major medieval cities of Taraz and Turkestan were founded along the northern route of the Great Silk Road during this period.

Traditional nomadic life on the vast steppe and semi-desert lands was characterized by a constant search for new pasture to support the livestock-based economy. The Kazakhs emerged from a mixture of tribes living in the region in about the 15th century, and by the middle of the 16th century had developed a common language, culture, and economy. In the early 1600s, the Kazakh Khanate separated into the Senior, Middle, and Junior Hordes--confederations based on extended family networks. Political disunion, competition among the hordes, and a lack of an internal market weakened the Kazakh Khanate. The beginning of the 18th century marked the zenith of the Kazakh Khanate. The following 150 years saw the gradual colonization of the Kazakh-controlled territories by tsarist Russia.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Papers Show Isaac Newton's Religious Side, Predict Date of Apocalypse

Isaac Newton is known for many things. These include contributions in physics, math, optics, and astronomy. However, he was also a Bible scholar and he ventured into the tricky area of trying to predict when the end of the world would occur.

An Associated Press article titled Papers Show Isaac Newton's Religious Side, Predict Date of Apocalypse has the story. It notes, "In a new Jerusalem exhibit, he appears as a scholar of deep faith who also found time to write on Jewish law – even penning a few phrases in careful Hebrew letters – and combing the Old Testament's Book of Daniel for clues about the world's end. The documents, purchased by a Jewish scholar at a Sotheby's auction in London in 1936, have been kept in safes at Israel's national library in Jerusalem since 1969. Available for decades only to a small number of scholars, they have never before been shown to the public."

When will the world end? Newton believed it would happen no sooner than 2060. I find this reassuring as so many are jumping on the Mayan calendar end date and predicting a 2012 demise for humanity. Newton was right on so much so who am I to argue that the world will be around until I am at least 90?

This part of the article is interesting. It notes, "Newton interpreted biblical prophecies to mean that the Jews would return to the Holy Land before the world ends." Well, the Jews have Israel back so that part of Newton's scholarly interpretation is correct...

Newton did not believe that science and religion were necessarily in opposition. He tried to make both work together. Yemima Ben-Menahem, one of the exhibit's curators, said "These documents show a scientist guided by religious fervor, by a desire to see God's actions in the world."

I am happy the documents in this exhibit were preserved. This adds a lot to our knowledge of one of the most important scientists in history.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Kellogg's 100

Kellogg's 100. This site features 100 years of history of the Kellogg Company, with a timeline, gallery of images, recipes, and other stuff like ringtones. Sure, it is an advertising site for the Kellogg Company but it is still full of good history information.

I am a little late in featuring this site. The Kellogg Company was founded in 1906 and celebrated the 100th anniversary in 2006. The site itself actually documents history back to 1856. The timeline section of the site has pictures and information which go back to the births of the founders.

From the site:

Will Keith (W.K.) Kellogg, was born April 7, 1860. W.K., along with his brother, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, was the co-inventor of flaked cereal. Although W.K. lacked a formal education beyond the sixth grade, the cereal giant forever changed the way we eat breakfast. In 1906, W.K. Kellogg entered the cereal business, as American eating habits began shifting from heavy, fat-laden breakfasts to lighter, more grain-based meals. W.K. discovered that a better flake was produced by using only the corn grit or "sweet heart of the corn." To help consumers distinguish Kellogg's Corn Flakes® cereal from the products of the 42 other cereal companies in Battle Creek, Michigan, W.K. put his signature on each package, saying that these Corn Flakes are the "The Original." The company succeeded because it believed the entire populace, not just those on special diets, might be interested in wholesome cereal foods, and because it continually improved its product line and packaging techniques to meet the needs of an ever-changing and evolving consumer base.