As a college librarian, I often hear stressed-out students searching for primary sources say, "I'll take anything." Don't settle for just anything. There is a treasury of primary source material available electronically. Peruse my selection of 200-plus primary source sites by conducting a keyword search, exploring the tag cloud at left, or browsing by historical era. You can also visit my Delicious and Diigo sites to review my bookmarks. Here's hoping you find what you're looking for.

Friday, March 26, 2010

NITLE in New Orleans

I’m in New Orleans for the next couple of days attending the
NITLE Summit. I haven’t been to Louisiana in many years, and this is my first post-Katrina visit to this great city. Prior to my departure, while searching for material pertaining to the history of the city’s flood control planning, I turned to JSTOR. History students love JSTOR because they can find full text articles quickly. However, they don’t often tend to think of JSTOR as a primary-source-finder. It can do just that - very well. I played around with a variety of search terms – Mississippi River, Louisiana, New Orleans, levee, dike, Lake Ponchatrain, etc. I limited my search to the first half of the 20th century. And, I found some solid sources. For Example: The Plan for Flood Control of the Mississippi River in Its Alluvial Valley. Presented to the Secretary of War and by Him to Congress, published in 1928 in Volume 135 of the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. One snippet from that report reads:

To afford proper protection to New Orleans, with its population of nearly half a
million and property value of over a billion dollars, a special floodway
upstream from the city is essential.

The picture above of the post-Katrina flooding of New Orleans comes from NASA’s earth observatory.

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