Database Trial: Brill’s Medieval Reference Library Online

Ever wondered what peasants wore in England in 682, or needed to explain why it was important for people to make pilgrimages to their religion’s Holy Land? Brill’s Medieval Reference Library Online can help answer those questions and more.

Brill’s Medieval Reference Library Online consists of four reference resources. Brill's Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages covers European medieval history from c.500-c.1500 over a broad range of topics. The Encyclopedia of Medieval Dress and Textiles provides articles on medieval dress and textiles of the British Isles c.450-1450. The Encyclopedia of Medieval Pilgrimage deals with the role of travel in medieval religious life and covers the period from c.300-c.1500. Finally, The Encyclopedia of the Medieval Chronicle presents the latest research into the chronicles written and studied in the Middle Ages.

Brill’s Medieval Reference Library Online give your the ability to browse each work, or search through all or one with the basic or advanced search options. Register for a free account and be able to star and label results, as well as save searches, all to help you with your research. Check it out before our trial ends on April 6, 2017.

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Brill’s Medieval Reference Library Online

Database Trial: Black Studies in Video

Black Studies in Video is part of Alexander Street featuring documentaries, newsreels, interviews and archival footage surveying the evolution of black culture in the United States. In partnership with California Newsreel, the database provides access to their African American Classics collection, and includes films covering history, politics, art and culture, family structure, social and economic pressures, and gender relations. The collection of videos ranges from 1950 to date and provides running transcripts.  If you create a free Alexander Street account, you can add bookmarks and create clips of videos, as well as make playlists. Check it out before our trial ends on November 20, 2016.

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Black Studies in Video 

Database Spotlight: Artstor

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. While adding one to your presentation or paper won’t actually add a thousand words to your word count, they can help put your project over the top.

Artstor is a great resource featuring a growing collection of more than 2 million high-quality images for education and research uses. The digital library allows you to search for images in art, architecture, the humanities, and social sciences and use them in your assignments for class. Artstor contains images from all parts of the world and of all different objects including a collection of old master drawings, African masks, medieval manuscripts, images of grottoes in the Gobi Desert, and archives of Islamic textiles.

The image viewer allows you to manipulate the images in a variety of ways including enlarging, panning, and rotating. Want to use an image in a project or paper? You can print them out with their descriptions or download and save them for later. You can even share images with classmates.

The free account that you can create offers even more features to help you maximize your Artstor experience. After you make your account, you can set viewing preferences, create folders to save images in, save citations, and even save your searches.

Speaking of searching, there are several ways you can find the images you need. There is a simple keyword search but when that won’t cut it, there is a robust advanced search that allows you to search by date or date range, geography, classification, or collection. This can really help you.

In addition to Artstor’s large digital collection, they also give us access to the Shared Shelf Commons. Shared Shelf is a place where institutions like Harvard, Cornell, Yale, and many art museums can upload and share their own collections.

Tips and Tricks:

  • Use * for truncation and _ for wildcards when searching.
  • Spelling matters on searches, so double check on how to spell that artist’s tough name.
  • Be sure to check out the copyright rules when using Artstor, their images are not to be put on the open web or used commercially. For a full list of what is permitted, please visit their page at http://www.artstor.org/content/permitted-prohibited-uses. If you have any questions, feel free to contact a librarian who will be able to help you out.