Wednesday, October 22, 2003

A couple of interesting items from the October 17 Scout Report

American Notes: Travel in America, 1750 - 1920

While Alexis de Tocqueville's, Democracy in America may remain one of the most important and compelling commentaries on the American condition, the American Memory project at the Library of Congress has compiled this wonderful collection of 253 published narratives by Americans and foreign visitors from the period of 1750 to 1920 for the convenience of the Web-browsing public. The criteria used to determine which narratives would be included in the collection were that the work had to be primarily in the first person, that it was free of copyright restrictions, and that it was part of the Library of Congress's General Collections. Along with familiar works by Charles Dickens, Washington Irving, and James Fenimore Cooper, the collection includes works by lesser known persons, such as Josiah Gregg's, The Journal of a Santa Fe trader, 1831-1839 and Captain Basil Hall's, Travels in North America, in the years 1827 and 1828. [KMG]

Vietnam: Journeys of Mind, Body & Spirit [RealOnePlayer]

Oriented around the theme of journeys, this online exhibit explores the various journeys that both the nation and people of Vietnam has undergone over the past few millennia, in particular the transition from French colonial control through the conflict with the United States, and the movement to a free-market economy over the past decade.
Curated by Laurel Kendall (and hosted by the American Museum of Natural History), the exhibit begins with Journeys Through Time and Space, where visitors can read some introductory remarks about the country, such as the various ethnic groups in the country, its geography, and history. The other sections (which are interspersed with photographs and illustrations) deal with death rites, the importance of various deities, and the transformation of the economy in the country. The site also features several fine video clips, including a 4-minute video of the rite that marks the passage of a young Vietnamese boy into manhood. [KMG]