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Digitized Materials in the Nooks & Crannies of the Internet

Does your library have a few primary sources that are beloved by genealogists and history buffs? If you're lucky, someone else has already plucked these sources from obscurity and paid to have them scanned, cataloged and posted online where anyone can use them. Sounds too good to be true, but sometimes it happens!

Local Wisconsin history materials turn up in places I never imagined. Here are a few collections where these gems might hide:

Internet Archive Internet Archive
I love the Internet Archive mainly for the Wayback Machine, but it also includes full-text eBooks. Read them online or download them for use with your favorite eBook reader. Some surprising local findings:

Google Books Logo Google Books
Wisconsin history is represented among the many, many full-text public-domain books in the Google Books collection. Some surprising local findings:

University of Wisconsin Digital Collections Logo University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
It's not just for University stuff! The UW Digital Collections Center digitizes and hosts a rich collection of materials of importance to Wisconsin in its State of Wisconsin collection.  Some surprising local findings:

These collections are a good starting point in a search for digitized materials. What sources have you been surprised to find online?

Looking at things with a fresh pair of eyes

Do you ever work with something so frequently and so repetitively that it becomes second nature and you stop seeing all of the settings (and possibilities)?

Our new SCLS director, Martha Van Pelt, started today and as we were talking about email, calendars, the network, etc, she asked me some questions that made me realize there are a lot of things that I don't know about the software I use each and every day.  Fresheyes

Whoa.  I just learned:

  • Google Calendar offers email and pop-up event reminders, and notifications can be customized from the calendar listing on the left
  • You can snooze pop-up reminders by clicking 'Remind me again in 5 minutes' in the yellow bar that appears at the top of your calendar after you dismiss the pop-up reminder

In the weeks to come, we will be soliciting your input about SCLS patron PCs, and I'm hoping that you'll help us look at them with many fresh pairs of eyes.  More information about this survey will be sent out to the scls-announce email list and appear here in TechBits.

STOP - Typing the www. and .com parts of the web address

Here's another quick tip that I love: control + enter automatically adds the www. and .com to anything you type in the address bar.

When I do this keyboard combination I use my left pinky to hit the left control key and my right pinky to hit the enter key.  Just to be clear; When I say the "Enter" key I mean the enter/return key next to the Quotation Mark/Apostrophe Key.  NOT the enter key on the number pad.

  1. In the address bar of your browser type: yahoo
  2. Hit the Control Key and the Enter Key
  3. You are now at www.yahoo.com

This works in IE, Firefox and Chrome.  However this does not work for .net, .info, etc web addresses.