>Free Resources for Students and Researchers

>There are a ton of great free resources out there both for students and for researchers, and I wanted to share some that I’ve found before the semester kicks into high gear. I know I’ve mentioned some of these resources before, but I’ve come across so many more that it’s good to keep the list updated. If you know of anything that I missed, please include it–I’d love to make as complete a list as possible!

Open Access Journals
Open Access is something I’m very passionate about, because it lets scholars publish their work in a way that reduces or eliminates overhead and thus allows our work to be available to more people. Two that are near and dear to my heart are B Sides, and Library Student Journal. You already know that I’m an editor for B Sides, but I was just offered a position at LSJ as a member of the Editorial Review Board too, and I’m really excited about doing even more with OA student publishing!
Common Place is a great source for scholarly research from many disciplines that address life in early America. A lot of exciting Internet research is published in First Monday, an OA journal that was recommended to me in my first semester at SLIS. There are so many great journals out there that it would be hard to name them all (and this post would be ridiculously long!) To find hundreds more, spend some time browsing on the Directory of Open Access Journals to see openly accessible journals covering a wide range of disciplines (a hint to LIS students: this is a great place to go when comparing journals for publishing your work!)

Online Collections
More and more institutions are placing their collections (or rather, parts of them) online, and while some are still password-protected, many are available to everyone free of charge. This post from the blog, mary and mac design, is a really outstanding collection entitled “100 Extensive University Libraries from Around the World that Anyone Can Access.” It’s organized by subject, so you can look at everything from law and religious libraries to general collections. I ran across it on Twitter this morning, and it immediately was added to my Delicious bookmarks!
The University of Iowa has the Iowa Digital Library, which not only has a wealth of information related to Iowa history, but also highlights some of their great collections of women’s history materials, illuminated manuscripts, and maps.
I think I’ve mentioned the World Digital Library before, but it’s definitely worth a check out. The interface is great and easy-to-use, and makes it simple to constrain your search to certain time periods or geographic areas.
There a a few collections on British history that I think are a lot of fun. The Word on the Street is a collection of broadsides from the National Library of Scotland. Not only is it a useful collection, but it’s presented in a fun way that would be accessible to undergraduate and high school students. The British Library’s Evanion Catalogue is a great resource for ephemera and other goodies relating to life in the Victorian period. The Bodleian Library is another good resource for ephemera, with their Broadside Ballads collection.

Reading/Book History
The LUCILE Project is also associated with the UI Libraries by way of the head of Special Collections, Sid Huttner. He has put together this really awesome project for those interested in publishing history, in that the whole site is devoted to uncovering the publishing history of one book (Lucile by Owen Meredith). It’s a great way to get an in-depth look at how one title moved through the publishing industry.
The Reading Experience Database seeks to compile instances of reading experiences in the UK from 1450-1945. It’s a great first place to look when trying to learn a bit more about how reading operated in a certain time period. Harvard has put together a great site entitled “Open Collections Program: Reading-Harvard Views of Readers, Readership, and Reading History,” which allows you to learn about many different types of reading and many different types of reading materials.
The Index Translationum is a searchable record of books that have been translated and published in UNESCO member states since 1979.

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