Department Blog

H/SS & Gov Info Services

Summer Library Classes for Staff

June 24th, 2009 by David Michalski

Did you know that as U.C. Davis staff you have access to the books, journals, databases and other electronic resources available through the University Library? Discover how to use our print materials and electronic resources, and get access from your home or office. Learn how to search our catalog and databases (a sample database will be demonstrated).  Registration required: All classes held at Shields Library Instruction Lab, room 165.  For more information contact Sandra Vella at

Monday, June 29      10 am – 11 am
Thursday, July 23     10 am – 11 am
Wednesday, Aug. 5     10 am – 11 am
Monday, Aug. 10    10 am – 11 am

New document: Political Violence Against Americans

June 22nd, 2009 by

The State Department has released the latest version of their report
“Politipoliticalviolencecal Violence Against Americans.”  The 2008 report is available at,  and the title is cataloged for the library’s catalog.   It was produced by the Bureau of Diplomatic Security’s Office of Intelligence and Threat Analysis (DS/DSS/ITA) to provide readers with a comprehensive picture of the broad spectrum of political violence that American citizens and interests have encountered abroad on an annual basis.

There were no reports produced from 2003-2007, but previous reports are available online or in the library.

New Resource: Archivision

June 18th, 2009 by Daniel Goldstein

“The California Digital Library has licensed three huge segments of the vendor Archivision’s fantastic images of architecture and public art for all UC campuses.  The Archivision Base Collection has 16,370 images “representing major Greek, Roman, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, 18th & 19th Century and Modern sites”.   Archivision Module One has 5,893 images that build on the above periods and also includes Ancient and Islamic Egypt.  Archivision Module Two has 6,395 images of Early Modern and cairo-citadel Modern European architecture, Islamic Turkey, and more US sites.   All the collections include drawings and plans that complement Scott Gilchrist’s stunning photographs.  You can explore the more than 28,000 new images through ARTstor – look under “Institutional Collections”. (text courtesy UCSB’s VRC blog, the Red Dot.)

Passing Strange:

June 17th, 2009 by Daniel Goldstein

I’ve just finished reading Passing Strange: A Gilded Age Tale of Love and Deception Across the Color Line, historian Martha A. Sandweiss’ take on the secret marriage of Clarence King, geologist, explorer and author to Ada Copeland, a domestic worker who had been born a slave.  The fact of the marriage had been public knowledge since the 1930s, but Sandweiss has built a remarkable book around around it that ties together stories of race and class, economic and social change, adventure and love.   Sandweiss discovered that King “passed” as a black man when he met Copeland, and kept from her the secret of his name and his identity as one of the most celebrated men of his day.   She found out only in a letter he had written her from his deathbed.  The book explores the complexity of this relationship and the question of how King could pull this deception off for more than a decade.  More than a microstudy, it is also an extraordinarily rich portrayal of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century America, and would, I think be a splendid read for an undergraduate course.   Sandweiss sums it all up in the final paragraph of the book.

The story of Clarence and Ada King is about love and longing that transcend the historical bounds of time and place. . .  .  But it is also a peculiarly American story that could take root only in a society where one’s racial identity determined one’s legal rights and social opportunities.  At every turn it exposes the deep fissures of race and class that cut through the landscape of American life. . . .

Passing Strange is in the library at Call Number: E 185.625 .S255 2009

RESOURCE: European History Primary Sources

June 13th, 2009 by Roberto C. Delgadillo


The Department of History and Civilization and the Library of the European University Institute, Florence, are pleased to announce the official launch of European History Primary Sources (EHPS), an index of scholarly websites that offer on-line access to primary sources on the history of Europe from Medieval and Early Modern History up to the most recent history of the European integration process. The purpose of European History Primary Sources is to provide historians with an easily searchable index of websites that offer online access to primary sources on the history of Europe. As the number of digital archives and collections on the internet continues to grow, maintaining an overview becomes increasingly difficult. EHPS strives to fill that gap by selecting the most important collections of digital primary sources for the history of Europe, either as a whole or for individual countries. EHPS is updated continuously and several collaborative features are introduced in the portal. It is very easy to stay updated on new entries and registered users can bookmark entries, leave comments to add their experiences to the descriptions on EHPS listed websites, complete EHPS abstracts with their own individual experiences and suggest new websites to be included. Since the launch of a beta version in September 2008, EHPS has already attracted significant interest from historians. In order to improve the user experience you are invited to send your feedback and suggestions so that the portal can be developed further. The portal was built and is maintained by Dr. Gerben Zaagsma (University College London) with the open source content management system Drupal.



Springer Open Choice program

June 12th, 2009 by David Michalski

Are you publishing in a Springer journal?
If so, you’re eligible for the Springer Open Choice program, which will make your scholarship more accessible by exposing your research to more readers.

  • There are no charges for UC authors to participate in the Open Choice program.
  • Costs are covered by the license between the UC Libraries and Springer. This ground-breaking agreement enables UC-authored articles accepted for publication in most of the 2000+ Springer journals to be published through Springer Open Choice, allowing full and immediate access to all readers. These articles will also be fully accessible through UC’s eScholarship publishing platform. UC authors do not pay the usual $3,000 fee to participate in the Springer open access program.
  • The corresponding author does not have to be affiliated with UC to take advantage of this arrangement – any article is eligible as long as there is one UC author.
  • The agreement, which was negotiated by the UC Libraries as part of its journal license, is a two year pilot and covers more than 2,000 journals in all of the subject areas in which Springer publishes.
  • The open access arrangement covers journal articles only, not books or book chapters.
  • UC authors retain the copyright to their articles under Springer Open Choice.
  • The only requirement is that the authors agree to make the article available under the Springer Open Choice License.
  • The Springer Open Choice program makes articles published in Springer journals available online once they have been through the peer review process and been accepted for publication. The final published articles, including all revisions resulting from peer review and copy-editing, are made available with full open access to all via the SpringerLink platform under a license compatible with the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license. Open Choice articles can be used in course packs, course web pages, e-Reserves, and for other educational purposes, provided that the appropriate attribution is included. When perusing the Springer Open Choice website, UC authors should ignore the information pertaining to author fees.
  • UC is interested in broad participation to gauge the usefulness of this open access pilot and to assess the level of interest on the part of UC authors in open access publishing options.  We invite UC authors to share information about the pilot widely among your colleagues.

If you want more information, look at the FAQ and other information at <> or contact Assistant University Librarian for Technical Services, Mary Page (  Campus liaisons also welcome your feedback on the arrangement.

The libraries will be conducting a more formal assessment later in the pilot. If you are willing to be contacted later on as part of that assessment please let Mary Page know.

Thank You

RESOURCE: Diasporas, Migration & Identities

June 5th, 2009 by Roberto C. Delgadillo


Funded with substantial monies provided by the Arts and Humanities Research Council in the United Kingdom, the Diasporas, Migrations & Identities research program is designed “to research, discuss and present issues related to diasporas and migration, and their past and present impact on subjectivity and identity, culture and the imagination, place and space, emotion, politics and sociality.” While the program is no longer actively funded, visitors can view the fruits of their academic labors on this site in the “Publications” area. Visitors to this section can view their annual reports and their working papers. Scholars and others can make their way through ten working papers, which include the titles “Here we go-but where? The possibilities of diaspora in the field of sport” and “London’s Chinatown: Diaspora, Identity and Belonging”. The site also contains a “Links” area, which contains a healthy selection of external links to other like-minded research institutes and centers.



RESOURCE: African Elections Project

June 5th, 2009 by Roberto C. Delgadillo


Interest in the election results within various African nations continues to grow, and the African Elections Project is a great source of information on this timely topic. The Project is coordinated by the International Institute for ICT Journalism and a number of additional partners, such as the Open Society Initiative for West Africa and Global Voices. The material on the site is available in both French and English, and currently it covers Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Malawi, and Niger. Within each country profile, visitors can view the results of recent elections, take a look at relevant weblogs, learn about the various political parties in each country, and also view past news updates. Additionally, visitors can sign up to receive email updates or RSS feeds.



Journals Under Threat

June 3rd, 2009 by Daniel Goldstein

There’s a new editorial, “Journals Under Threat,” appearing in 61 international history of science, technology and medicine journals. It was issued jointly by the editors of all 61 journals and should be read by anyone involved in the humanities. (Link to editorial in Medical History via PubMed Central.)

This collaborative editorial critiques an initiative from the European Science Foundation called the European Reference Index for the Humanities (ERIH). According to the editors, “The ERIH is an attempt to grade journals in the humanities. . . . The initiative proposes a league table of academic journals, with premier, second and third divisions.  But, while the editors direct their objections to this specific initiative, their core critique challenges the underlying premise of any journal ranking scheme as it applies to the humanities.

Journals’ quality cannot be separated from their contents and their review processes. Great research may be published anywhere and in any language. Truly ground-breaking work may be more likely to appear from marginal, dissident or unexpected sources, rather than from a well-established and entrenched mainstream. Our journals are various, heterogeneous and distinct. Some are aimed at a broad, general and international readership, others are more specialized in their content and implied audience. Their scope and readership say nothing about the quality of their intellectual content.

We are in a time when academic publishing is under strain and the University of California is confronting a future of sharply reduced state support. As we, collectively and as individuals, are forced to make difficult decisions about what research to fund or not to fund, where to publish, what journals to purchase or to cancel, the temptation is strong to base our choices on seemingly objective measures like the ERIH. This editorial is a strong and timely reminder that despite their allure, such ranking systems are of questionable value. Indeed, the authors of this editorial feel so strongly that the ERIH is antithetical to interests of the research community that they have all asked to have their journals removed from its lists.