Fascinating facts, reliable resources, and delightful databases

Fascinating facts, reliable resources, and delightful databases

Interested in fascinating facts, reliable resources, and delightful databases? Then be sure to “like” the IU East Campus Library Facebook page for weekly highlights of databases found in our A-Z Index. Here are some recent highlights.


The Gilded Age was just that, Gilded. NOT Golden. From afar, all appeared golden with fancy balls, jewels and mansions, urban industrialization, and rising gross national products. But, under the surface were very real problems such as unsafe tenement housing, political corruption, environmental destruction, and non-regulation of basic goods. The Gilded Age and Progressive Era database contains collections from McKim, Mead & White architectural firm (designers of the Brooklyn Museum), political cartoon collections of Thomas Nast and Joseph Keppler, documents from Standard Oil, and more.

On October 6, 1866 brothers John and Simeon Reno staged the first train robbery in American History, making off with $13,000. This all took place just 2.5 hours from here in Seymour (Jackson County), Indiana. Learn more about the Reno Brothers and other nineteenth-century Indiana history in the Nineteenth Century U.S. Newspapers database. On Aug. 5, 1892, Cyrus West Field was celebrated for the success of laying the first telegraph line across the Atlantic Ocean. This paved the way for U.S. President Buchanan and Queen Victoria to exchange formal introductions just 11 days later. With more than 120,000 articles, updated regularly, the Britannica Academic database offers useful resources such as articles, images, videos, and biographies.

Nicknamed ‘The General’ for her habit of leading Women’s Rights marches wearing a military-style uniform (including an officer’s cap and epaulets) and riding on a horse, Flora Drummond was an organizer for the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU). Learn more about Flora, her work with the WSPU, and her imprisonment on nine different occasions in the Women in the National Archives database. Votes for Women! On August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing women the right to vote, was formally adopted into the U.S. Constitution. Search through original documents covering women’s suffrage in colonial territories, in the Women and Social Movements in the United States, 16000-2000.

“Millions of ordinary people witnessed the crimes of the Holocaust—in the countryside and city squares, in stores and schools, in homes and workplaces. Across Europe, the Nazis found countless willing helpers who collaborated or were complicit in their crimes. What motives and pressures led so many individuals to abandon their fellow human beings? Why did others choose to help?” – United State Holocaust Memorial Museum. View the USHMM exhibit “Some Were Neighbors: Collaboration & Complicity in the Holocaust” and reflect on the choices of individuals then and the choices we make today. The Jewish Life in America 1654-1954 database contains a wide array of digital collections from the American Jewish Historical Society. Learn about the communal and social aspects of Jewish identity, culture, and communities in America, from the arrival of the first Jews in the 17th century to the mid-20th century.


Not only is it a dictionary and thesaurus, but the Oxford English Dictionary also tracks when words first entered the printed English language. For instance, “Alphabet soup” entered in 1884 and “sorbet” in 1864, while “umbery” made an appearance in 1850 and “hoop” in 1867.  These are just a few of the more than 155,000 words that were entered into the English language from 1850 to 1899.

On March 24, 1800, Forlorn Hope became the first newspaper published within a prison by an incarcerated person. Over the last 220 years, more than 450 prison newspapers have been published from U.S. prisons. The 1,200+ items from serials such as “The Hour Glass,” “Mule Creek Post,” and “What’s Happening on the Yard?” housed in the American Prison Newspapers database represent penal institutions of all kinds, with special attention paid to women’s-only institutions.

Discover the working methods of Romantic writers Joanna Baillie, Felicia Hemans, Dorothy Wordsworth, and more in the Romanticism: Life, Literature & Landscape database which contains verse manuscripts, printed manuscripts, prose manuscripts, printed verse, correspondence, diaries, travel journals, autograph albums, guide books, fine art, and maps. Interested in comic books? The Underground and Independent Comics database boasts over 1,900 comics including ones written by comic artist, writer, and “herstorian” Trina Robbins, one of the earliest women in the American underground comix scene of the 1960s. 

Alice Dunnigan was the first black woman to receive press credentials to cover the White House. On January 1, 1947, she became the head of the Associated Negro Press Washington Bureau and would go on to write hundreds of stories for that news outlet. Learn more about Alice Dunnigan in the Literature and Language database. The experiences of Eliza Abbott, Christina Kallstrom, Clara Yeakel, and 1,322 other women can be found among the 145,000+ pages of diaries, letters, and biographies in the North American Women’s Letters and Diaries database.

Science and Nature

Science in ACTION! The Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE) contains over 13,000 videos of laboratory methods and science concepts ranging from biological and medical to chemical and physical research. Start your scientific research today by visiting the JoVE database. Celebrate the value of chemistry in everyday life by utilizing the ChemSpider database which provides open access to more than 100 million structures, properties, and associated information including physicochemical properties, interactive spectra, and literature references.

Dive into the ever-changing world of computer science by researching topics like Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science and Game Theory, Emerging Technologies, and more in the Computing Research Repository (CoRR) database. With over 80,000 new items added each year, the MathSciNet provides access to reviews, abstracts, and bibliographic information for mathematical and scientific literature.

Dec. 2, 1970, the new federal agency, the Environmental Protection Agency opened its doors in response to the dawning realization that human activity can have major effects on the planet. Find sustainable resources such as GreenFILE, as well as films accessible via AVON, and open access articles in the Sustainability Resources at IU East resource guide.

The next time you turn on the windshield wipers, think of Mary Anderson who on Nov. 10, 1903, patented the “window cleaning device.” This device was for electric cars and other vehicles to remove snow, ice, or sleet from the window. Search this patent and others in the Nexis Uni database. Before emails, text messages, faxes, and phone calls, the revolutionizing long-distance way of communicating was by receiving a telegram. In January 1838, Samuel Morse demonstrated the first telegraph machine, a device that used electric impulses to transmit encoded messages over a wire, and by 1844, Morse sent the first official telegram from Washington, D.C., to Baltimore. In the ProQuest Science Technology database, learn more about the groundbreaking telegraph machine and the evolution of communication technology.

Social Sciences

It’s never too early to start thinking about your final projects and the resources you will need. ProQuest Social Science database contains articles from over 570 titles from subjects ranging from Communication Science, Demography, and Economics, to Human Services, Political Science, Policy Studies, and Sociology.

Reproductive rights, domestic violence, and constitutional equality are among the many significant topics available to research in the Contemporary Women’s Issue database.

The Black Studies Periodicals database covers an array of disciplines including art, cultural criticism, economics, education, health, history, language and literature, law, philosophy, politics, religion, and sociology. Find information about artist Faith Ringgold, educator Rita Pierson, and sociologist Anna Julia Cooper as well as hundreds more in the Black Studies Periodicals database.

Canadian Manon Rheaume became the first woman to play in one of the four major men’s North American pro sports leagues when she took to the ice for the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning in a preseason game. Learn more about Rheaume and her struggle for legitimacy in the GenderWatch database. On Feb. 23, 2014, basketball star Jason Collins became the first openly gay athlete to play a game in any of the United States’ four main professional leagues (NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB). In 2021, NFL star Carl Nassib announced he is gay. Learn more about their stories, along with the advancements of LGBTQ members in sports, in the Archives of Sexuality and Gender: LGBTQ History and Culture database.

These are just a few of the topics featured on the IU East Campus Library Facebook page, so be sure to like us so you do not miss out on future posts. Interested in learning more? ASK US! iueref@iue.edu or click this button:

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