Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Online History News

by Kathryn Hadley

A few history websites have recently been updated or newly created. Here is the latest news about some of the best history websites.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography updated
The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography was updated at the end of May with new biographies and reference material. The update includes a special focus on garden history and on engineers who pioneered new standards in domestic and public sanitation.
The 30 new gardeners include Peter Barr, the Victorian ‘daffodil king’ who rescued the bulb from obscurity, and Christopher Leyland who cultivated the fast-growing conifer. These new additions are available via a free clickable map http://www.oxforddnb.com/public/gardeners/
The section devoted to Victorian and early twentieth-century engineers includes biographies of Thomas Twyford, George Jennings, who created the first public conveniences for the Great Exhibition in 1851, and Jesse Dawes, a pioneer of home refuse collection.
Lastly, 20 new ‘reference group’ essays were also added as part of ODNB’s project to include a set of 400 essays on well-known groups, clubs, and networks in the British past in which individuals came together and acted collaboratively.
The next update is due to be published on October 8th and will focus on the Britons who shaped the history of Latin America from independence to the 1970s.

1911 census for Wales
The 1911 census for Wales, taken on the night of June 2nd, 1911, went live on June 9th providing access to the records of 2.4 million people living in Wales at the time. Following the release of a first set of 1911 records last January, the recent release of the Welsh records completes the project to provide online public access to the records of the 1911 census, which covered England, Wales, the Isle of Man and the Channel islands.

Archives Normandie 1939-1945
This new website is the first to include a database of copyright free photographs taken in Lower Normandy during the Second World War, from the occupation, to the liberation and reconstruction of the region. The website was developed in partnership with the U.S. National Archives, Library and Archives Canada and the Imperial War Museum. The database also includes photographs taken by veterans and by local inhabitants.

La Seconde Guerre Mondiale en Normandie
This new website was launched on June 6th to mark the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings. It is the result of a joint project between the television channel France 3 Normandie, the Caen Memorial and the French National Audiovisual Institute. The website provides public access to a database of video and audio footage as well as images of the Second World War in Normandy, from the German occupation to the reconstruction in the 1950s. It also includes a timeline of the period, an interactive map and footage and images of D-Day commemorations, from the end of the war to the present.

From the website Archives Normandie 1939-1945:
- locals drinking with British and Americain soldiers after the liberation of Ecouche (Conseil RĂ©gional de Basse-Normandie / National Archives USA )
- Summer 1944: St Lo after the Battle of Normandy


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