The Internet History Sourcebook Project
Reviewed By Maria
©2003, Maria Giankos
Internet History Sourcebook Project:
Unless you have access to an exceptional
local library -- usually ones associated with colleges, and therefore hard for
the average person to get into -- doing research on Ancient history can be
difficult. Ordering specific books from stores can be one answer, though it is
both time consuming and a gamble. After all, if you haven't seen the book, how
can you be sure it's actually going to hold the material you need?
Nothing can compare to having a very good
book on a subject that you need in depth information about, but what if your
need is considerably less broad?
Searching the Internet has become a favorite
way to fill in small gaps. However, therein lays another problem. The Internet
not only overflows with information, it also overflows with misinformation.
A site like the Internet History Sourcebook
Project can help allay some of those fears. While there is doubtlessly some
material in the project that might be questionable, the overall collection is
excellent. In the words of the founder:
The Internet History Sourcebooks
are collections of public domain and copy-permitted historical texts presented
cleanly (without advertising or excessive layout) for educational use.
Internet History Sourcebooks Project
[IHSP] is a world wide web project designed to provide easy access to primary
sources and other teaching materials in a non-commercial environment. It was
developed and is edited by Paul Halsall with the aid of numerous other
Unfortunately, the site seems to have been
abandoned about two years ago, and now many of the links are out of date and
dead. This is troublesome, but there is still a considerable wealth of
information to be found if you're willing to sift through the material.
The sourcebooks are set up in three
divisions: Internet Ancient History Sourcebook, Internet Medieval Sourcebook,
and the Internet Modern History Sourcebook. There are also many subsidiary
sourcebooks based on themes that include African history, Women's history,
Global history and more.
Another breakdown of material is in the form
of themes, and these include traveler's stories and legal histories.
Taking advantage of this site, a person can
track down many bits of information about historical incidents, as well as
getting a feel for a time and place. The site also offers school book-like
It is easy to get lost in the joy of
following the sites numerous links to various sources. Unfortunately, like many
such sites, a number of the links are now dead. While that can prove annoying
at times, it is still no worse than the average dead link or wasted time spent
with an Alta Vista or Google search, and at least in this case a person is
guaranteed to be heading toward something that really is related to the subject.