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NARAtions: The Blog (and Wiki) of the United States National Archives

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I am adding  NARAtions to my blogroll along with other sites that help me with my research. I’m sure this won’t be news to many of you but NARAtions is, as my article title suggests, the U.S. National Archives blog. The stated purpose…

We began this blog because we are hoping to talk with you about online public access to the records held by the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).   We care about improving your researcher experience.

There are currently seven bloggers most of whom appear to be “history geeks” – a phrase I use only with the utmost respect and admiration.

As I embark on my own thesis research in Civil War naval history, I am both appreciative and disappointed with what is online from our National Archives. Apparently,  the cost of digitization means that a small percentage of available materials have been digitized. What a shame that there isn’t more. Interestingly, ancestry.com has pension records for soldiers and sailors of the American Civil War and I have full access to the site (yes a pretty penny).

NARAtions

They’ve also created a Wiki called “Our Archives” where the public can contribute. It is accessible here. This could actually be a good thing if adopted. It will be interesting to see if it is given more respect among historians than other Wikis. The stated purpose of the Wiki is as follows:

Our Archives is an online space for researchers, educators, genealogists, and Archives staff to share information and knowledge about the records of the National Archives and about their research.

Our Archives Wiki

Kings of War – New addition to Wig-Wags Blogroll

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Kings of War Blog

Kings of War Blog

Kings of War is a new addition to my blogroll and a great one. Bloggers include “faculty and research students of the Department of War Studies, King’s College London.”Included among the writers are: David Betz, The Faceless Bureaucrat, Kenneth Payne, Thomas Rid, Rob Dover, David Ucko, Tim Stevens, Captain Hyphen, and Paula Broadwell.

I like the organization. This from “The Idea” page.

Kings of War is about strategy, widely defined.

We assign each of our posts to one (or more) of seven “columns” – the tabs at the top of the page. Alanbrooke is about British national security and defense. Clausewitz deals with strategic theory. Galula explores counterinsurgency. Grant, like the U.S. general and president, is concerned with American grand strategy. Mao covers insurgency and terrorism. Thucydides is history. Turing, as in Alan Turing, reviews cyberwar and the virtual dimension of conflict.

Good reading!

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American Civil War Artillery Demonstration, Antietam National Park

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Excellent demonstration of how a gun crew handled artillery during the American Civil War can be seen below.

Antietam Artillery Demonstration

Antietam Artillery Demonstration

Ranger Mannie Gentile has become an excellent film maker. His blog, My year of living Rangerously, remains one of my favorites.

Posted via web from Rene Tyree’s Lifestream

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Civil War Preservation Trust President Interview

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Michael Noirot over at This Mighty Scourge has posted an interesting interview with the Civil War Preservation Trust‘s president, Jim Lighthizer. It’s presented in a series of podcasts and is well worth a listen. You can access it here or by clicking on the image below.

CWPT Inteview

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OUP Blogs Lincoln as Part of Bicentennial Celebration

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oup-blogs-lincoln

I’m a fan of university presses so I’m sharing some information forwarded to me by the good folks at Oxford University Press about books and stories they are featuring on their Oxford University Press USA Blog as part of the Lincoln Bicentennial celebration. Check it out.

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History Blog "Cliopatria Award" Nominations Due by 11/30!

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clioawards2008

OK history buffs… George Mason University’s History News Network does its bit to encourage history bloggers with its annual Cliopatria Awards, but it needs nominations from readers like you. Intended to “recognize the best history writing in the blogosphere,” nominated history blogs will be considered for six award categories:

“Bloggers, blogs and posts may be nominated in multiple categories. Individuals may nominate any number of specific blogs, bloggers or posts, even in a single category, as long as the nominations include all the necessary information (names, titles, URLs, etc).

Nominations will be open through November; judges will make the final determinations in December. The winners will be announced at the American Historical Association Annual Meeting in early January 2009; winners will be listed on HNN and earn the right to display the Cliopatria Awards Logo on their blog.”

Now get out there and nominate aggressively! Click here for nomination information.

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Link Updates

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Over the weekend, I added quite a few links to the right navbar which I use to keep myself organized. Here’s a quick run down of several of the new adds. There’s a theme in here somewhere….

  • Links to all state historical societies
  • The Historical Maritime Society
  • Smith’s Master Index to Maritime Museums (WOW!)
  • Portsmouth Historic Dockyards (GO if you get a chance!)
  • Five excellent new links to sites related to slavery filed under “Slavery Links”

slavery-links

Civil War Blog Addition and British History Online

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I’ve made some additional adds to my blogroll and links. First a belated welcome to Jim Beeghley whose blog, “Teaching the Civil War with Technology” has not only a strong premise but some terrific posts.

Welcome Jim! http://blog.teachthecivilwar.com

And thanks to Alex Rose over at The History Man blog for a lead to British History Online. This is an impressive site with some great information including primary sources. I’ve added it under a new category titled History Sites of Merit.

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New Blogroll Adds to WigWags

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I’m pleased to add two sites to my blogroll.

First The Tipsy Historian which you can access here. I’ve enjoyed reading it for the first time today, particularly the post on the Lost Cause Mythology.

And secondly, a fellow student blog called History Rhymes here which is blogged by Alex Seifert, a history student at the University of Wyoming. His focus is postbellum 19th century American History. Alex Rose’s blogroll over at The History Man pointed me in Alex’s direction so merci beaucoup Mr. Rose.

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1 Year of Blogging and A New Look for Wig Wags Blog

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This month marks my first full year of blogging on Wig Wags. To honor the occasion, I thought I’d trial a new look and a lighter background. It’s different, a little easier on the eyes but the photos don’t quite pop as much. And, limitations of the template have caused me to lose my picture header. I miss it. If I can figure out how to mess with CSS a bit, I may be able to reinstate it.

I’m a firm believer that change is good but I also know the value of familiarity and  complete changes in look can be risky. I’d be interested in any thoughts you – my readers – might have.

Thanks to all of you who find your way the Wig Wags from time to time. I’ve appreciated the kind comments along the way and some terrific discussion.

Rene

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Some Press for Wig-Wags

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I’m pleased to report that Wig-Wags has been featured on the following sites in the past 30 days:

Indiana University Press found my review of Edward Hagerman’s book, The American Civil War and the Origins of Modern Warfare. You can read their post here and my full review here.

Jessica Merritt included Wig-Wags in her story titled, “100 Awesome Blogs for History Junkies” along with several of my fellow bloggers. Look for me under the “Academic” header. I only wish I could have been listed under several headers.

And finally, Alltop has listed Wig-Wags on their Top History News page. Alltop has a neat layout. They are effectively a feed aggregator by topic that pulls in the latest posts on sites that meet a topical criteria. Readers can “mouse over”  any of the top feeds for a site and the full story will be visible as a pop-up of sorts. I like it! 

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Baltimore Sun's Civil War Books Discussion

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Dave Rosenthal, the Sunday and Readership Editor for the Baltimore Sun, asked me to contribute to a discussion of Civil War Books on their book blog, Read Street. I’m up for any opportunity to talk about books. Check out my recommendations and those of fellow commentators here.

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Blogkeeping…hello, goodbye

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I am making a couple of blogroll updates, both fellow WordPress bloggers…

First, John Maass is closing shop which is sad but understandable. John – hope you’ll continue to stay in touch. I really enjoyed your blog. And best of luck in future endeavors. I plan to keep his link on my blogroll because there is some good stuff there.

Second, a new WordPress blogger at Past in the Present. I’m pleased to see the focus on the American Revolution, an area of interest for me as well. Welcome!

New American Civil War Forum Blog

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I was visiting TOCWOC today and noticed mention of a new Civil War blog. It hasn’t been that long ago that I was the new kid so knowing how much I appreciated the mentions on fellow blog sites am passing along the goodwill. Please take a moment to visit The American Civil War Forum Blog here. I will be adding to my blogroll momentarily.

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Alex Rose on Writing History

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Alex Rose, who I mentioned in a post here and added to my blogroll recently, has a superbly entertaining post on writing history here on his new blog. Looking forward to the next installment.

Alex Rose

Alex Rose

Source: shamelessly copied and cropped from his publicity website.

While I’m shamelessly lifting items from his blog, ahem, I also am porting into my links a terrific site in his blogroll titled Reviews in History.  Quite interesting and worth a look-see.

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