I’m a huge history geek. I love learning about aspects of history that I never knew about before and delving deeper into history topics I barely know anything about.
I get excited when a new Ken Burns documentary like The Vietnam War comes out. I’ll be watching it on PBS and I’m sure I’ll learn a ton about this era of history.
We have a free online tool to help you take a deeper dive in topics – World History in Context. All you need is your library card.
When I enter the database I’m immediately attracted by the pictures of historical events that flash across the main page. It’s tempting to click on one of these and learn more but I’ll stick to my topic “The Vietnam War.” I type this into the search box and hit enter.
The screen changes and I see several intriguing options. At the top of the screen is an overview of the war. Scanning down the page, I see several interesting articles about topics like Agent Orange and the fall of Saigon. These are just teasers as each section – reference, biographies, primary sources, magazines, news and academic journals has more if I click on through. I also see a section of images , which immediately distracts me since I love looking at photos! There is also an audio section that includes numerous links to radio broadcasts related to the Vietnam War. It’s an impressive collection.
The Vietnam War is not the only topic that has this kind coverage. Clicking on “browse topics” near the top of the page I find a large list of other topics including the Renaissance, which I would love to explore. This list would be great for students in need of a topic idea for a history research project or paper.
Then of course there is the search box for any topic I don’t find listed. Hurricanes, gerrymandering, nuclear weapons – each brings up a nice list of results from encyclopedias, magazines, journals, newspapers and more.
I could spend hours exploring this database. I’m sure my fellow history lovers and students with history assignments would agree, this database is fantastic.