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 2, 2012

Using Google to Shed Light on the Edgewood Arsenal Experiments

Yesterday I read a troubling story about veterans suffering from long-term health problems due to the experiments they were subjected to at Maryland’s Edgewood Arsenal.

The CNN piece details how the U.S. Military tested chemical and biological agents on human subjects from the mid 1950s to the mid 1970s. One of those veterans interviewed for the piece said he volunteered for the Edgewood Arsenal experiment after being told that he and others would be testing equipment, such as gas masks.

A Google search yielded a host of materials related to these experiments. I searched for Edgewood Arsenal to limit by initial search to government agencies - sites with .gov URL suffix. I turned up, among other things, a variety of documents in the National Archives that are related to the experimentation at Edgewood, the Library of Congress’s photos depicting a variety of different operation at Edgewood, and documents such as this one from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, which address possible health implications from the activities at Edgewood.

Another search, this time for Edgewood Arsenal restrict my results set to military agencies – those with a .mil suffix. That search turned up a variety of additional material including a page produced by the U.s. Army Research, Development and

Engineering Command, devoted to the history of the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center and information about the field testing of hallucinogenic agents at Edgewood Arsenal .

The photo above depicts airplane spraying of U.S. Naval officers at Edgewood. The image comes from the U.S. Military’s Force Health Protection and Readiness Program.

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