Skip to main content

Choice Recommended Web Sites: History and Political Science

Recommended web sites have more description than Outstanding or Highly Recommended sites.

History and Political Science

History and Political Science have been sub-divided from Humanities and Fine Arts and Social Sciences. In the Choice Recommended category the entries are sufficiently numerous in this area to make this necessary. Users of this page should also be sure to examine the Humanities and Fine Arts page and the Social Sciences page.

20 Years After: Life Beyond Communism in Central & Eastern Europe
a special report Web site created by a Czech Republic-based nonprofit organization that publishes an Internet magazine, Transitions Online, which reports on social, political, economic, and cultural events in former Communist Eastern Europe and Soviet Union.
Africa Portal
from the Centre for International Governance Innovation, Makerere Univ. and the South African Institute of International Affairs
America.gov
U.S. Department of State; a new project of the Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP) of the US Department of State. The IIP's purpose is to support American foreign policy goals by providing policy-focused information and content....This Web site seeks to reach a global audience through new and emerging forms of communication such as mobile phones and social networks. Navigation is simple. The sections have a nearly identical and very attractive layout consisting of a main box with three or four stories related to the State Department's involvement with an issue.
American Women's History: A Research Guide
by Ken Middleton; a rich guide to reference and primary sources both online and in print
Abolition, Antislavery, and Slavery Web Sites

The Becker Collection: Drawings of the American Civil War Era
650 drawings of the American Civil War era; it features drawings by different artists working for Frank Leslie's Illustrated Weekly Newspaper at that time; ....Although the drawings themselves are stunning, the look of the Web site is plain and boring, with minimal graphics. ....For photographs, users may wish to consult CivilWarPhotos.net  or Pictures of the Civil War.
Bentham Project
British Enlightenment philosopher, legal theorist, social reformer, and founder of classical utilitarianism Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) left behind an huge and wide-ranging body of writing and correspondence. The Bentham Project is a major effort of the University College of London and related UK organizations to transcribe and publish his entire set of works.
Brookings Institution
A nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC, the Brookings Institution conducts independent research and makes policy recommendations aimed at "strengthening American democracy; advancing the economic and social welfare, security and opportunity of all Americans; and securing a more open, safe, prosperous and cooperative international system." Since its inception in 1916 the Brookings has contributed to many important initiatives including the UN, the Marshall Plan, and the Congressional Budget Office. Their site is an explosion of information that on an initial visit is overwhelming. Readers unfamiliar with Brookings should consult the About Brookings page to understand the mission and work of the organization. The home page highlights current reports, research, and blog content on major issues, e.g., the budget deficit, health care, unemployment, Iraq. A menu on the left-hand side of the page lists the site's major sections, which include US, World, Economy, Programs, and Experts. In these sections users can find more specific reports and research specific to these topics.
Center for Future Civic Media
MIT; site provides the following definition: Civic media is any form of communication that strengthens the social bond within a community or creates a stronger sense of civic engagement among its citizens. Civic media goes beyond news gathering and reporting....future refers to the delivery of that communication and development of those bonds principally through electronic means.
Civil Rights Digital Library
University of Georgia; an excellent resource for educators wishing to incorporate primary source material into the classroom; site materials are organized according to Events, Places, People, Topics, Media Types, Contributing Institutions, and Educator Resources; may also browse alphabetically.
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
University of Michigan Law School; here is docket sheet indexing the progress of litigation from filing to termination, the complaint that initiated litigation, decrees issued by courts or agreed to by parties, published opinions, and links to other information in Westlaw and Lexis will find it all here. Furthermore, all of this information is indexed and searchable. More than 30,000 documents related to cases.
Comparative Constitutions Project
Supported by the National Science Foundation and produced in cooperation with the University of Illinois' Cline Center for Democracy. Menu-based choices provide easy navigation. This site is focused primarily on analysis; and points to other sites for that information—e.g.
The Complete World Development Report Online
from the World Bank
Council of Economic Advisers
The Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), established by Congress in 1946, is charged with studying all aspects of the economy and recommending economic policies to the US president.....The site is ideal for following and understanding the current state of US economic policy. See related, Office of Management and Budget, Executive Office of the President of the United States; and Congressional Budget Office.
David Rumsey Map Collection
Extensive digitized gallery of maps, globes, atlases, charts, school geographies, and so on; site focuses on cartography of the Americas from the 18th and 19th centuries.
Digital Harlem: Everyday Life, 1915-1930
University of Sydney History Dept; focuses on information derived from newspapers and Manhattan District Attorney office files, among other sources, about African American residents at the lower end of the socioeconomic ladder.
Digital History
Based at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, its purpose is to educate scholars and interested members of the general public about an emerging academic field. Web site is clearly organized, easy to navigate and quick loading.
Digitized Afghanistan Materials in English
From the Arthur Paul Afghanistan Collection at the University of Nebraska
Discovering American Women's History Online
A dedicated labor of love by Ken Middleton, a reference librarian at Middle Tennessee State University. Coverage of topics is broad and includes those one would expect to find like suffrage, feminism, and home economics. Specialized topics are included as well, ranging from women rodeo performers and pilots to architects. Historical periods range from the 17th to the 21st century, with emphasis on the 19th century and later. More than 400 collections are available; CONTENTdm provides the database to allow researchers to use advanced search options.
Early Modern Resources
an informal hub for free sites on many topics set in the early modern period (c. 1492-1800) in Europe. The content is not closely vetted, so that the quality c an be somewhat uneven. A site with similar scope, but somewhat more heavily edited is Early Modern Resources  at the University of Michigan.
The Economy : Crisis & Response
The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco has created an attractive, informative site that communicates to a wide audience the reasons for the current financial crisis.
EGO : European History Online
The acronym is based on the original German title--Europaische Geschichte. From the Institute of European History in Mainz, Germany. A free online resource that covers the "transcultural history of Europe on the Internet" over the last 500 years.
Election Resources on the Internet
Manuel Alvarez-Rivera; provides access to external Web sites containing publicly available election data for over 120 countries
Election Guide
Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening (CEPPS)
European History Primary Sources
a joint venture between various organizations under the umbrella of the European University Institute. This ambitious project aims to create a single site compiling all digitized primary sources pertaining to European history. Arranged by nation, language, period, subject, and type of source. For a similar site see The European Library
Follow the Money: National Institute on Money in State Politics
Follow the Money describes itself as "the nation's most complete resource for information on money in state politics," and there is no reason to doubt that claim. It could equally be described as the state government version of the Open Secrets Web site at http://www.opensecrets.org/, which traces contributions at the federal level. Follow the Money is not quite as easy to read and navigate as Open Secrets, but it works well and should be added to any basic list of useful Web sites for students of US government.
Founders Early Access
From the University of Virginia, an effort to make early American documents available to the public; the project isa collaboration of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities' Documents Compass group, and the Papers of George Washington editorial project.
Glossary of Terms for Conflict Management and Peacebuilding
from the Academy for International Conflict Management and Peacebuilding of the United States Institute for Peace (USIP). An ambitious and very thorough endeavor, with 45 pages of single-spaced type enumerating and explaining words related to pace. See also the entire site at United States Institute of Peace.
Harvard Map Collection—Digital Maps
A great source for digital maps; Electronic items vary from digital images available through the Harvard Image Delivery Service to georeferenced map data linked to the Harvard Geospatial Library. Users should be aware of access limitations: the public may download some georeferenced maps, but others are restricted.
Image Urbis: Giuseppe Vasi's Grand Tour of Rome
University of Oregon; the Image Urbis is a companion to the Interactive Nolli Website; specifically it is a geographic database that presents more than 240 engravings from Delle Magnificenze di Rome by Vasi (1710-1782), in the context of the famous and extremely accurate map of Rome by Giambattista Nolli (1701-1756). The site brings together two distinct contemporary approaches to describing 18th-century Rome and sets them in the context of their own time.
The Living Room Candidate: Presidential Campaign Commercials, 1954-2004
An extraordinary resource for those who study or teach political communication or US political history; one reviewer said it is simply interesting [and] voters, marketing professionals or even those looking for something memorable to watch on the Web will enjoy visiting the site. The site includes a brief introduction of every presidential campaign year and has notes on a handful of individual ads.
London Lives 1690 to 1800
sub-titled Crime, Poverty, and Social Policy in the Metropolis; significant, award-winning site
Making the History of 1989
Web site on the fall of communism in Eastern Europe; includes 300 primary sources which are downloadable as pdf files. A brief analysis accompanies each document; documents can be found using keyword searching or by browsing the teaching modules and case studies.
Mesoamerican Civilizations
Somewhat dated and overly full of ads, the site nevertheless contains much useful information. Among the topics Callahan examines in this extensive study of Aztec, Maya, Mixtec, and Zapotec cultures are history, archaeology, political organization, mathematics, writing systems, religion, and legends.
Metropolitan and Urban Trends in the U.S.
Military History Encyclopedia on the Web
3,500 entries, along with 1,300 pictures and 370 maps; Easy to navigate and quick to load, this online encyclopedia is also up-to-date and regularly maintained.
Mississippi Freed Summer Project 1964 Digital Collection
Organized and sponsored by the Miami University (Ohio) library, the project consists of 765 documents, 27 videos, and suggested curriculum guides for classes from first grade through college.
Muckety: Exploring the Paths of Power and Influence
The name Mucketyis derived from the term "muckety-mucks"; denoting important people. The sites purpose is to demonstrate how notable individuals and entities interact through diagrams, or maps, which "track people and organizations with power and influence." Maps can be manipulated by expanding, moving, and deleting items, and they can also be saved. Current associations are indicated by a solid line, while past associations are indicated by a dotted line....Its usefulness as a tool has inherent limitations, mainly space, since real-life connections are infinite and varied,...Beyond merely being fun to browse, Muckety's real value lies in revealing connections...and allowing users to see the big picture.
NAACP : A Century in the Fight for Freedom, 1909-2009
A Web site that should prove insightful and educational for students and the general public and shows the promise to be a useful resource for scholars if the digitization process helps to bring the vast treasure trove of NAACP resources in the Library of Congress (LOC) onto the Web.
National Women's History Museum
The site presents good content for younger users and their teachers, offering quizzes, lesson plans, and the online exhibit titled Young and Brave: Girls Changing History. Users should note, however, that some parts of the Web site are under construction [and] that documentation is scanty.
Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute on Government
sub-titled Independent Research on America's State and Local Governments; institute publishes many reports and papers concerning specific the areas of state and local finance, federalism and intergovernmental relations, NY state statistics and related information. To quote one review The institute's research and data division has several in-depth studies that should be useful to professors and policy works.
Oral History Association
a good introduction to methods and knowledge about what oral history is and how it should best be conducted.
PolicyArchive.org
Project of Indiana University-Purdue University's Indianapolis Library; PolicyArchive   features a wide variety of material, including reports, charts, videos, and white papers. An ambitious, open-access site which is self-described as a comprehensive digital library of public policy research containing over 24,000 documents; the site is a tremendous boon to a wide range of users seeking this difficult to find material.
Registry of U.S. Government Publication Digitization Projects
This free resource features about 180 projects spanning a variety of disciplines. The site offers the user the option of browsing by subject / category, by project title or by keyword.
Small Arms Survey
on the elusive global trade in small arms, so-called light weapons, ammunition, and related equipment is remarkably relevant to a wide range of users, from criminal justice professionals to scholars, researchers, activists, and policy makers. Small arms are crucial to international and civil violence, conflicts, and crime. The well-regarded research center of the Swiss-based Graduate Institute of International Studies produces the most authoritative data, information, publications, and references on weapons types, identification categories, political and social effects, and both official legal and illicit or informal transaction networks. Timely country case studies and important topics such as the role of arms brokers are presented, and means of arms control are fully discussed as well.
South Asian Oral History Project
Univ. of Washington Libraries; This much-needed addition to US immigrant studies provides a voice to a minority group that for a long time has remained silent and often been overlooked.
Spanish Periodicals and Newspapers: Women's Magazine Digital Collection
This site offers a small sampling of publications for women in Spanish collected by bibliophile Juan Perez de Guzman y Boza. The Dodd Research Center currently makes available 17 titles from the collection published for the more privileged or elite women of 19th-century Spain.
Sunlight Foundation
The very well organized and designed Sunlight Foundation Web site offers a unique blend that brings together different ways of sharing information, retrieving data, and engaging citizens in the pursuit of transparent and accountable government....[provides the ability to] retrieve state campaign contribution data for the last 20 years, and gain instant information about legislative actions in Congress via the iPhone. Finally, aware of the power of the latest social media tools to foster debate and promote engagement, the Web site integrates blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Delicious, and Flickr.
Throwaway History: The Broadside in American Culture
Tennessee State Library and Archives; presents 90 19th- and 20th-century broadsides selected for their historical significance, subject matter, era represented, and connection to Tennessee. The brief introduction emphasizes the ephemeral, disposable nature of broadsides and their use in public spaces to broadcast information to the public.
Wilson Center OnDemand
OnDemand features audio and video recordings of programs sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a nonpartisan institution providing a forum for dialogue on national and international affairs. Two search options are available; the simple search provides keyword searching; an advanced search allows searchers to limit by topic, region, speaker, program, sponsor, and date. The overall design is simple and navigation is straightforward.
A List Apart
An online magazine that covers Web content and development, including design, standards, coding, and accessibility issues. A number of editors run the site and accept submitted articles based on the magazine's stated guidelines. It is a great publication for practitioners, but not for the beginner or casual Web Designer, since some of the article discussions are quite technical.
MacWorld AppGuide
see also MacWorld AppGuide : Essential Collections
SitePoint.com
Developed by an online media company, SitePoint Solutions (Melbourne, Australia), this is a useful resource for academic social media developers and web site builders. Even at first glance the site demonstrates good Web design. The site makes good use of social media, and the tools it offers will benefit those who are interested in making their social media sites worthy of return visits.