Kuwait University / College of Social Sciences
Department of Library and Information Science
1330-524 Information Resources & Services in the Humanities & Social Sciences
Aisha Bader AL-Awadhi
1. Identifying the purpose of a source:
The "British History Online" is a digital library which holds a number of "core" printed materials "primary & secondary" sources. The materials cover the medieval & modern history of the British Isles. The purpose is to "support all those interested in the digitization of historical resources". The aim of this digital library is to support "academic and personal users" that will benefit from the materials in their "learning, teaching & research". (See the "about us" section). 2. Assessing coverage:
The subject areas covered are places / regions, subjects, periods, sources, maps, text search & state papers. A drop-down menu shows the content of each subject area.
Accessing via thumbnails displays a short explanation of the content of each subject area (except for state papers).
The type of materials are text (records, calendars & some others materials only available for subscribers) and maps. As for the coverage range, it starts from the medieval up to modern history. The subject areas were covered comprehensively given the wide range of covered areas. Retrospective coverage is from the medieval (middle ages, 5th to 15th century) to modern history (16th to 20th century). However, there is no information on the number of materials. Giving the level of the intended audience, the level of details & information is appropriate and sufficient.
Clicking on the content (e. g. Advowson) shows the entire text with links to footnotes.
As for maps, it mentions the source, scale and the ability to zoom at any point on the map. Overall, the display of information is well-organized, easy to access and use. Whereas the depth is also appropriate and gives detailed information of a chosen topic.
There are direct pointers to other sources of information like the partners' thumbnails. This directs you to their websites.
This site / digital project is a "mirror" that is linked as a "partner site & related pages" by the "Institute of Historical Research". However, as a digital project aiming to expand its materials, a link to those who are interested in electronic publishing for historical materials is provided http://www.history.ac.uk/resources/digitisation/bho 3. Assessing authority and reputation:
The source is well-known as one of the few digital libraries on the subject of history. Made the short list in Wikipedias' "list of digital library projects" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_digital_library_projects
The British History Online is a collaboration of high-status research centers (Center for Metropolitan History, History of Parliament Trust & Victoria County History). The project staff and academic support team includes four doctors out of seven members in both teams. Project staff
* Dr Jane Winters (Head of Publications, IHR)
* Bruce Tate (Project Manager)
* Dr Peter Webster (Editorial Controller)
* Jonathan Blaney (Project Editor)
Academic Support Team
* Dr Matthew Davies (Director, Centre for Metropolitan History, IHR) * Dr Paul Seaward (Director, History of Parliament)
* Elizabeth Williamson (Architectural Editor, Victoria County History) The Institute of Historical Research (IHR) (with partnership of British History Online) is "an important resource and meeting place for researchers from all over the world". Based in the University of London and was founded by A. F. Polland in 1921. The website address do not indicate an authoritative organization, it would be better if it had the initials (IHR) instead. http://www.history.ac.uk/ Reviews were written by non-professional writers; the reviews didn't give a...
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