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God and Shakespeare in Cyberspace: A Guide to Humanities Resources on the Web

American Academy of Religions Teaching Resources
The American Academy of Religions has developed a site called Teaching Resources on the Internet, offering syllabi from religious studies courses from college campuses around the country. This site also features lists of resources available online, including teaching tools and scholarly material, meta-indices, and electronic texts. Use this site to find online concordances of religious texts, online journals like the Journal of Buddhist Ethics, or to find out what's happening at the AAR or other major organizations supporting religious studies.

American Memory:

Historical Collections for the National Digital Library
This digitized library makes available some of the most precious resources of the Library of Congress. Visitors can browse archival material, images, and primary documents—in all, 7 million documents from more than 100 collections within the library's holdings. Searchable by collection category, period in history, or search topic, the site is a rich repository of American history and culture. The collections are grouped into such categories as performing arts, recreation and sport, geography, and philosophy and religion. The site features particular collections in revolving presentations. Currently, the site is exhibiting the library's collection of Hannah Arhendt's papers and a show about Irving Fine, conductor and musician. The site's Learning Page guides students and scholars through a search and provides helpful tips, lesson ideas, and activities for educators. Researchers will appreciate the links to copyright information and citations, which provide details about U.S. copyright law, define fair use, and help scholars navigate the quagmire of borrowing electronic images.

Art History Resources on the Web
Developed by Chris Witcombe, a professor of art history at Sweet Briar College, this exhaustive site provides links to resources on art history, museums, and related research material. The breadth of the art world is represented here, with sections on prehistoric, ancient, Middle Ages, Renaissance, and contemporary art, as well as a section on prints and photography. The museums and galleries section includes links to collections all over the world. Using this site as a starting point, visitors can tour museums they might otherwise never visit and view items that rarely leave their home countries. Visitors to this site can see the artifacts in an Etruscan virtual museum or tour the exhibits at the National Museum of African Art. Whitcombe's research links include his top 20 art history sites, image resources, bibliographic material, and online periodicals.

Students can stand in the sh'es of historians with DoHistory, an experimental interactive case study. DoHistory invites visitors to piece together fragments of the life of a real person into a cohesive historical narrative, using the skills and techniques employed by scholars. The site focuses on the life of Martha Ballard, drawing from the midwife/healer's diary, which was later adapted into a book and movie. Included are biographical details, a genealogy, diaries, and information on midwifery and herbal medicine. The site also provides material on how to use primary sources, a bibliography, and links to other resources. The archive of primary sources features more than 50 documents available for viewing and transcribed for use in this social history project.

Finding God in Cyberspace
Compiled by John Gresham, Library Director at Fontbonne College, this site is a well-organized wealth of resources on religions and spirituality. Divided into intuitive categories, the site offers links to print resources (including libraries, publishers, and bibliographies), people resources (academic and religious communities), and digital and teaching resources. There is also a comprehensive list of academic disciplines related to religious studies, from archaeology to future studies, as well as a religious traditions section that features “best gateways” to information about 12 categories of particular traditions. This section is especially helpful, since Gresham has already selected the best sites devoted to each tradition.

Lives, the Biography Resource
This interesting site links visitors to thousands of biographies, autobiographies, memoirs, diaries, letters, narratives, and oral histories of individuals who are no longer living. One unique aspect is the inclusion of group biographies about people who share a common profession, historical era, or geography. The site also offers general collections, resources on biographical critcism, and special collections. Offering an interesting thematic cross-section of the site, these special collections look at such groups as African-Americans, women, Holocaust survivors, Canadians, and Latinos. Visitors can search the site by region, era, or profession. Critical biographies are cited as well and are listed in their own section.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art has created a site that gives visitors a glimpse into its extensive collections, which total more than 2 million items. The site features lush images and a searchable database. A director's tour guides visitors through the various collections, focusing on highlights from each, and a virtual tour of the period rooms uses QuickTime VR to provide panoramic views. New to the site is a timeline of art history, a useful study tool for scholars and students. Though still a work in progress, the timeline is in place from 20,000 B.C. to 500 A.D. Organized geographically as well as chronologically, the timeline gives in-depth information on the art and archaeology of many regions.

Mr. William Shakespeare and the Internet
This award-winning site, developed at Palomar College, is the most complete, annotated guide to Shakespeare resources on the Web. Included in the vast but well-organized collection are sections on Shakespeare's life and times, the theater, and the Renaissance, as well as criticism, complete texts, and materials for teaching Shakespeare. The site offers materials not available elsewhere, including a unique timeline, a genealogy, and a biography quiz. The What's New section includes current articles and even a link to a reproduction of what may be a newly-discovered portrait of Shakespeare.

The Perseus Digital Library
The Perseus Project is an evolving digital library of resources for the study of the ancient world and beyond. The site offers a wide variety of archival material, including plans, images, maps, and text, much of which concerns the modern, rather than the ancient world. Perseus can be searched not only by English key word but also by Latin or Greek word, as well as archeological search categories such as images, sites, vases, and coins. Recent expansions of the archive include ancient science, Roman materials, Greek lexicography, the works of Christopher Marlowe, sources for Shakespeare's Richard III and Julius Caeser, a facsimile First Folio, and the evaluation of new electronic tools for the study of ancient culture. The library has also posted new exhibits, including the Edwin C. Bolles Collection on the history and topography of London, in addition to exhibits on Hercules and the ancient Olympics.

The Virtual Library: Classical Music
The classical music department of the WWW Virtual Library, maintained by Gary Daum of the Georgetown Preparatory School Music Department, is divided into seven sections, each with its own annotated catalogue. Visitors will find organizations, biographies, online periodicals, reference materials, reviews and broadcast information, software, and discussion forums. The biography section includes biographies of hundreds of composers and performers, as well as information about orchestras from around the world and links to additional resources. The database is organized chronologically and alphabetically for easy searching.

Voice of the Shuttle
Voice of the Shuttle, launched in 1995 by Professor Alan Liu of the University of California at Santa Barbara, is an award-winning site dedicated to the study of the humanities and social sciences. It provides a structured and annotated list of teaching resources, journals, shared syllabi, and discussions in such areas as women's studies, cultural studies, media studies, and cyberculture, along with all of the traditional humanities disciplines. Each discipline page includes dozens of links, but visitors can also view a short list of highlights before diving into the longer list. The home page posts a link to featured articles by UCSB scholars. Geared primarily to teachers and academics, the site is a rich resource for students doing research in any of the 26 disciplines covered. The material here is vast. Under the museums and libraries section alone, users will find another level of links to research libraries, public libraries, and computerized library resources.

Women Writers
The Women Writers Web site is designed like a zine and features book reviews of current literary works, editorials, discussion groups, and tips for writers. Despite its hip design and edgy features, there's an academic element to the site as well, with sections of criticism on feminist theory and biographies of women writers from many periods and nations. There are links to prominent women's studies sites and original p'etry to round out the offerings.

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