Friday, March 23, 2007

What Did You Think??

We want your input on the Top 10 Research Skills workshops. What did you think overall? Is there a better time of year or days that we could schedule them? Did you find the content useful? Is there anything we missed you wish we included?

We plan to do these again next year in the Spring. The best way for us to meet your needs is for you to tell us what they are. Please comment to this posting and let us know what you think.

FYI - the handouts from the workshops will remain on the TWEN site for Top 10 Research Skills Library Workshops until the end of the semester.


Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Acronym Finder

As both students and practitioners well know, the fields of law and government bristle with acronyms. When you need to discover the meaning of one of these enigmatic arrays of letters, try Acronym Finder, one of the largest and most comprehensive online dictionaries of acronyms, abbreviations, and initialisms. Simply type whatever it is that you seek to decipher into the search box, and click “find”.

By the way, contrary to popular misunderstanding, not every set of initial letters is an acronym. Acronyms are arrays of letters standing for other words that can themselves be pronounced as a word. For example, “MADD” (“Mothers Against Drunk Driving”) is an acronym, because it can be pronounced as a word (“mad). “FBI”, on the other hand, is an initialism, because it is pronounced by its component letters,“Eff-Bee-Eye”, and not as a word (“Fibbee”).

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

"Studies in Scarlet" Trial Collection

Scandal winding up in court is nothing new. This month the Harvard University Libraries launched a fascinating new digital collection of over 450 searchable full-text trial narratives, all involving divorce, domestic violence, abduction, adultery and related issues during the 19th and early 20th century. "Studies in Scarlet: Marriage and Sexuality in the U.S. and U.K., 1815-1914" features mostly privately reported and published trial narratives and transcripts. While these cases from the Harvard Law School Library's collections lack the precedential value of officially reported appellate opinions, they offer real-life insights and examples of how the law was applied in the context of public attitudes, gender roles and societal standards of an earlier era. Among the diverse subjects are Caroline, Queen Consort of George IV, Oscar Wilde, and wealthy but lesser known New Yorkers suing for divorce.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Monday, March 19, 2007


The OpenCongress website brings together official government data with news and blog coverage to give you the real story behind each bill. It is a project of the Sunlight Foundation and the Participatory Politics Foundation. The mission of the website is to help everybody know as much about what is going on in Congress as insiders do and to encourage civic engagement.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat