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.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

An environmental crisis threatens the Gulf Coast

As the huge oil slick caused by last week’s oil rig explosion approaches the Gulf Coast, federal officials are grappling with ways to contain the spill and lessen the potential environmental damage. On Thursday, federal officials said they feared the oil is leaking underwater at the rate of 210,000 gallons per day. While the exact toll of this spill remains to be seen, it calls to mind thoughts of the Exxon Valdez disaster. In March 1989 the Exxon Valdez ran around in Alaska’s Prince William Sound, spilling 11 million gallons of crude oil. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Damage Assessment and Restoration provides digital access to a wealth of primary source documents relating to that environmental disaster including: photographs, copies of environmental impact statements and documents pertaining to civil settlements related to the spill. As the current situation in the Gulf continues to unfold, you can visit NOAA’s website to keep track of remediation efforts. The photo at right of an oil-covered duck on Alaska’s shore comes from NOAA and was provided by the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council.

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