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Four Seriously Cool Information Resources
As a librarian, researcher and frequent blogger, I’m constantly coming across incredibly useful online information resources that are most effectively searched using their own site search tools, rather than relying on general-purpose engines to surface their valuable content. I plan to start writing about these on a regular, ongoing basis, using a bullet-point format that highlights the most useful features of each resource, rather than doing in-depth reviews.
Without further ado, here are the first four (of many more to come).
- Cost: free
- In three words, amazing, important, essential
- With a few exceptions just about every program that have aired on C-SPAN, C-SPAN 2, C-SPAN3
- More than 170,000 hours of content, back to 1987
- Advanced search interface
- Important to remember that C-SPAN carries more than what goes on in the Senate and House of Representatives
- Hours and hours of author interviews, political rallies, interviews with newsmakers and journalists and much more
- Most programs are full text searchable using mechanically generated transcripts
- People search allows you to quickly see if a person has appeared on the network and then link directly to the program(s)
- Example: Larry Page (he’s appeared on C-SPAN Twice)
- Many programs are embeddable
- Most programs appear in the archive within a day or two (if not sooner) of airing.
- The C-SPAN Video Library won a prestigious Peabody Award in June
- Cost: free
- Officially launched last week
- One search, centralized access to multiple digitized historical map collections
- About 60,000 maps available today, with more than 120,000 maps by end of 2012
- Keyword search, focus by date using slider, search by map
- Material included so far:
- A Vision of Britain through Time, Historical Map Library
- British Library, Map Library
- David Rumsey Map Collection
- Moravian Library, Mollova mapová sbírka
- Cost: free to search; fee for institutions to subscribe
- Archive-It is a fee-based service from the Internet Archive that works with non-profits, schools, governments and others to crawl and archive sites and pages they specify
- Many of the collections are available to all
- Close to 1,700 collections currently available
- Example: Archive of NASA Social Media
- Collections are updated regularly with new material
- Unlike the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, Archive-It collections are keyword searchable
- Cost: free
- Provided by Duke University Libraries
- More than 30,000 digitized images, with search/browse capability
- Most images are of outdoor signs from between 1930s and 1980s
- Advanced interface allows you to search by company, product and date
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.