A Survey of Housing in the United States

The American Housing Survey 2013 is the latest biennial report from the Census Bureau. It “…provides current national-level information on a wide range of housing subjects. Topics unique to this survey include characteristics and physical condition of the nation’s housing units, indicators of housing and neighborhood quality, and home improvement activities. Specific examples include the presence of appliances, respondents’ rating of their homes on a scale of 1 to 10, and the average cost of kitchen and bathroom remodeling.

Topics new to the American Housing Survey this year are disaster planning and emergency preparedness, public transportation, household involvement in neighborhood and community activities, and the prevalence of “doubled-up” households, such as those with an adult child living at home. Specific examples include having an adequate food or water supply in case of emergency, key amenities accessible via public transportation and neighbors willing to help one another.” (press release)

The data presented are NOT found in the decennial census and offer a great deal of information into both the housing stock in this country and its neighborhoods. It also gives us a peak into living arrangements that were brought about by the Great Recession.

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Open Access Law Reviews

The Law Review Commons aggregates more than 200 law reviews with over 150,000 freely accessible articles, some dating back to 1852. Titles such as the Berkeley Journal of Criminal Law, the Duke Law Journal, and the Notre Dame Law Review can be found here. You can search by subsets; i.e.,search only those journals that specialize in constitutional law or international law, as well as free-text searching. Search results are highlighted in such a way that “running over” the title will produce an abstract. This “commons” is a smaller portion of a much larger dataset called Digital Commons Network giving access to over one million free, full text scholarly articles and related works. Both sites are well worth a look.

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Life Expectancy/Causes of Death in the United States, 2012

We are living longer, and females still outlive their male counterparts. These kinds of statistics are found in the Mortality in the United States, 2012

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International Encyclopedia of the First World War

This scholarly, international undertaking features almost 500 articles (that total will grow to 1000), a 4000+ items bibliography, a timeline, and the ability to sort by themes or regions as well as by subject.  A typical entry, such as this lengthy one on Ireland, has embedded links, footnotes, a selected bibliography, and a portal to external resources with access to primary sources (and labeled as such). For those wanting a solid introduction to this conflict, we recommend this site. Compare to the First World War from Spartacus Educational; World War I from Infoplease; World War 1 from History.com; and The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century from PBS (videos found here).

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Al-Qaeda Groups in the Middle East and Africa

There is a proliferation of Al-Qaeda groups in that part of the world; this CRS report – Al Qaeda-Affiliated Groups: Middle East and Africa – can help make sense of it all. Additional information can be found at the National Counterterrorism Center.

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Dictionary of Art Historians

This free, scholarly biographical database provides succinct biographical information on scholars of western art. The newer entries contain active links; the older ones do not, but that does not detract from the usability of this fine tool. This work ranges far and wide, offering biographies of those individuals who were only tangentially related to art history, such as Georges Duby. The search box is a simple one, but you can enter terms in it to limit your results. In addition, this database contains a substantial bibliography arranged under broad topics. Also, peruse An Outline of the History of Art History. We remember with fondness our meeting with the great Islamic art historian Richard Ettinghausen during his tenure at NYU and the Met.

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Online Art History Books

The Getty Research Portal allows access to almost 40,000 volumes of digitized art history texts from some of the world’s great research institutions. You can filter your results in any number of ways: type, name, place, or contributor (i.e., library). See how many books are here by James Rorimer, one of the most influential “Monuments Men“.

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