Making Research Accessible

Research Freedom is an open project dedicated to making research more accessible to everyone. Our site contains reviews of digital and physical archives to make your research time more efficient.

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  1. Jonathan

    Teaching Students How to be Historians using the Slave Voyages Database

    By Jonathan ·
    Hello, Everyone,  The semester is in full swing, and I am sure that like me you are extremely busy. I thought I would take a minute to talk about a recent assignment I assigned my students utilizing a digital humanities project. This is also a request for others to share their experiences using digital humanities to get students engaged in our fields.  Briefly, I recently asked my students to use the Slave Voyages website. I assigned them a particular ship, which in this case was one that left from Boston, Massachusetts. They were then asked to compare and contrast this ship to others from roughly the same period answering the question "Was the voyage of the Neptune indicative of the slave trade as a whole?" This was intentionally open-ended to allow them to pursue their investigation in any way they saw fit.  The results were pretty mixed. Many students felt that the assignment needed more structure, or they found the database confusing. Oftentimes, they became frustrated by the lack of information available. After some reflection, I think that this assignment is useful but requires a lot more preparatory work before setting students loose in the database.  So, I am curious. Have any of you ever had an assignment that you thought would be really great, and it ended up not working out quite as well as you expected? I am curious to hear your thoughts in the comments below. 

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  2. Jonathan

    New Resources for Medieval Studies

    By Jonathan ·
    Hello, Everyone! A friend of mine posted an article on Facebook the other day about obscure Medieval texts which have been translated and posted online as part of Stanford's Global Medieval Sourcebook. As I am teaching a section of History of Civilization to 1500 this semester it immediately caught my attention. What is really exciting about this project is its attempt to offer a global perspective. This first release has material from China to France. The images alone are fantastic! It is also a collaborative project that seeks to have scholars help supply context to the documents. If you are interested, check out the project here. Let me know what you think about this new resource in the comments below. We will be adding a full review of this new resource in the near future! 

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  3. Jonathan

    Summer Research Trips

    By Jonathan ·
    It has been a while since I have blogged for this site. The spring semester got crazy, and then I spent quite a bit of my summer visiting archives and working on research projects. I spent two weeks at the end of May working in the National Army Museum archive in London and back at the British Library. I wanted to take a quick moment to encourage you all to provide a review for any archives you may have visited recently.  In other news, I am preparing two new classes for the Fall semester, so I will be adding more US focused digital archives over the next couple of months. I hope you have had a productive summer filled with research and writing, or just relaxation. Please contact us for information about contributing to the site! 

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  4. Jonathan

    Mapping Racial Violence

    By Jonathan ·
    It's been a while since I have uploaded a new blog entry. To be honest, I got totally swamped by the semester. I had the opportunity to teach a U.S. History survey class this semester that focused on the end of Reconstruction to the present. One of the unifying themes that my students and I have discussed is the use of racial violence to support white supremacy in the United States from the end of Reconstruction to the present. At times, this has been an emotional and fraught experience. I recently came across an article in the Smithsonian Magazine that talked about a new digital history project that maps every incident of racial violence or lynchings from 1877 to the present nationwide. It provides details about every lynching recorded. This is an amazing resource, and I cannot wait to share it with my students soon.  I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts in the comment below. Please feel free to contribute your own tips, hints, or resources in a blog entry on this site!     

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  • This is a recently reopened museum that traces the history of the British Army. The archive has a wealth of source material drawn from regimental museums and family donations of material.

    Fields Empire and Imperialism, Military
    Geographic Focus Canada, Caribbean, Latin America, Germany, Great Britain and Ireland, Asia, China, India, Japan, Africa, East Africa, Egypt, South Africa, West Africa, Australia and New Zealand
    Chronology 1700s, 1800s, 1900s
    • Price

      Free
    • Access

      Physical Only
    • Jonathan

      Contributed By

      Jonathan
  • Reno, Nevada was the world's divorce capital for nearly six decades. This project contains hundreds of digitized images, publications, documents, and media.

    Fields Class, Crime and Punishment, Economics, Gender and Sexuality, Legal, Political
    Geographic Focus United States
    Chronology 1900s
    • Price

      Free
    • Access

      Online Only
    • Jonathan

      Contributed By

      Jonathan
  • The Spectator first emerged in 1828 promising to "convey intelligence." This archive contains digitized copies of every edition of the newspaper from 1828 to 2008. This is an extremely important source for political and cultural information regarding Britain and its colonies.

    Fields Class, Crime and Punishment, Economics, Empire and Imperialism, Environmental, Gender and Sexuality, Legal, Medicine, Military, Political, Race, Religion, Science, Slavery
    Geographic Focus United States, Canada, Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and New Zealand
    Chronology 1800s, 1900s, 2000s
    • Price

      Free
    • Access

      Online Only
    • Jonathan

      Contributed By

      Jonathan
  • From 1830 until well after the American Civil War, Free Blacks and Fugitive slaves met in state and national "conventions" to discuss important issues. This new Digital Humanities project seeks to understand the social worlds and collective organizing potential of these conventions.

    Fields Class, Economics, Gender and Sexuality, Legal, Political, Race, Religion
    Geographic Focus United States
    Chronology 1800s
    • Price

      Free
    • Access

      Online Only
    • Jonathan

      Contributed By

      Jonathan

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