American History in Video

American History in Video offers more than 5,000 videos related to the history of the United States. There are documentaries from companies such as PBS and The History Channel. There are also interviews, public debates on contemporary issues, and archived newsreels – before television, a newsreel (a brief film of the current news) was shown before the main feature in movie theaters. These are PRIMARY sources that can’t be beat!

The database provides many ways to access the videos (remember, like all our subscription resources, you will need to log in with your name and library barcode if you are off-campus). You can browse by decade, era, historical event, or by subjects such as dance, music, and fine arts. Also check out their subject-themed playlists or create your own – perfect for class presentations.

To view the newsreel of the Atomic Bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945, watch the clip Universal Newsreels, Release 526, August 5, 1946.

Atomic Bomb dropped on Hiroshima, 1945 - Universal Newsreels, Release 526, August 5, 1946
Atomic Bomb dropped on Hiroshima, 1945 - Universal Newsreels, Release 526, August 5, 1946

Library staff recommendation: Hand Job: A Catalog of Type

Hand Job: A Catalog of Type

By Michael Perry

Greenfield Open Stacks 686.22 P429h

This compendium of illustrators working with truly unique hand-drawn type is chock-full of witty and charming illustrations. Each page is bursting with color, and the feel and weight of the paper provides a great tactile and visual experience. You don’t have to be an illustrator, designer, or typographer to appreciate or find inspiration in this book!

Recommended by Casey Murphy, Greenfield Circulation Assistant.

Digital Resources of the Week: Women’s History Month

For this final week of Women’s History Month, let’s take a look at some of the history of working women in the United States.

Women Working 1830-1900 from the Harvard University Library Open Collections Program documents primary resources, such as diaries, magazines, and photographs, to explore how women working impacted the economics of this country, especially during the Great Depression. Browse by key events, including the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876 or by notable women included in the collection, such as interior designer Candace Wheeler. Discover more on this designer in Candace Wheeler: The Art and Enterprise of American Design, 1875-1900 in the UArts Libraries. For more general resources on women and labor, try searching the catalog by subject with women–employment.

Esther Bubley at the Bayway Oil Refinery in 1944 (taken by Gordon Parks)
Esther Bubley at the Bayway Oil Refinery in 1944 (taken by Gordon Parks)

A really interesting website from the Library of Congress is Women Come to the Front: Journalists, Photographers, and Broadcasters during World War II. Eight women, including photographers Dorothea Lange and Esther Bubley, are presented for their hard work and insight during wartime. To learn more about these two photographers, search for Lange, Dorothea and Bubley, Esther as subjects in the UArts Libraries’ catalog.

Finally, a horrible tragedy that, thankfully, encouraged better working conditions for all Americans. March 25, 2011 is the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Factory Fire. Cornell University has a wonderful website dedicated to educating the public about the fire, which occurred March 25, 1911 at the Triangle Waist Factory, a textile factory in New York City. Within minutes of the fire starting, 146 people, mostly women and many of them young immigrants, had perished. Because of this horrific event, labor laws and building codes all over the country were updated and enforced.

We can thank The Women’s Trade Union League who campaigned for the 8 hour work day!
We can all thank the Women’s Trade Union League, who campaigned for the 8-hour work day!

Library Staff Recommendation: Night of the Hunter

Part Gothic horror, part fairy tale, part German expressionist film, Night of the Hunter (GD978, in Blu-Ray from Criterion) is surely one of the most unusual mainstream films I’ve ever seen. Robert Mitchum is creepy, creepy, creepy, as a charismatic and murderous itinerant preacher who goes up against the fabulous Lillian Gish, great star of silent films, in his quest for stolen money hidden, unbeknownst to him, in a little girl’s doll. Two young children, John and Pearl, literally go on a voyage to escape Mitchum’s Harry Powell. A fascinating story told largely from the children’s point of view, the haunting sets and cinematography are just as good as the frightening morality tale played out on the screen. The only film ever directed by Charles Laughton, Night of the Hunter will have you on the edge of your seat. Turn out the lights, turn off your phone, watch and enjoy!

Once you’ve seen the film (you don’t want to spoil the story, after all), take a look at International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers in the Greenfield Library reference section. Great for browsing and revisiting favorite films. You might also want to see  The Encyclopedia of Novels into Film, which gives some behind-the-scenes background on the adaptation of the script.

Library staff recommendation: Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes

Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes

Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes

by Daina Taimina

746.434 T136c Greenfield Open Stacks

You don’t have to know how to crochet or understand geometry to appreciate the beauty of the mathematical and natural worlds. Taimina, a professor of mathematics at Cornell University, uses simple crochet forms to explain difficult concepts such as negative curvature. She places geometry in the history of art, discussing patterns and symbols used in many native cultures. She then brings those patterns and symbols into the complex math that helps in construction, navigation, and machine building – as well as the organizational structures that make up much of nature.

With vivid photographs and text written for easy understanding, you’ll learn how a simple fiber technique can connect kelp, Venice, soccer balls, and modern art.

Recommended by Shannon Robinson, Access Services Librarian.

Shannon Robinson