Archive for Biography

Women in Legislatures Around the World

Did you know that out of 189 countries surveyed by the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the United States is tied at 85 with San Marino for the percentage of women that serve in Congress? We are beaten by Burkina Faso, Moldova, and Slovakia, among others. You can also find the data arranged by region and world statistics as well as by parliamentary assemblies; additional material back to 1997 is also online. More in-depth treatment of both current and past Congresswomen can be found at Women in Congress from the House of Representatives; statistical information can be found in this 2014 CRS report – Women in the United States Congress: Historical Overview, Tables, and Discussion.

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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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Who’s Who in the CDC

With the CDC playing a prominent role in the Ebola outbreaks, this guide to who’s who, as well as this organizational chart, might be useful.

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Happy 450th Birthday, William Shakespeare!

Considered among the greatest, if not the finest, writer in the English language, William Shakespeare was born on April 23, 1564 and died on the same date in 1616. A great page to start reading his works, perusing his biography, looking at some of his more memorable quotes, and so much more is Absolute Shakespeare. Shakespeare Online also offers comprehensive treatment of the Bard, though marred by intrusive ads. (But then someone has to pay the hosting and managing fees. As Robert Heinlein stated: TANSTAAFL) The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. houses hundreds of thousands of items relating to Shakespeare and the theater in general. Due to the rarity and fragility of many of its holdings only scholars have direct access to these materials, but the public is offered access to thousands of digital images that include books, theater memorabilia, and manuscripts via the Digital Image Collection. There have always been arguments over whether or not Shakespeare actually wrote what we read; some representative articles include: The Case for Oxford (that the Earl of Oxford is the true author, The Atlantic); The Case for Shakespeare (The Atlantic); and Shakespeare: the conspiracy theories (The Telegraph).

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The Life and Times of Lord Byron

An influential and controversial poet, Lord Byron is considered one the great Romantic writers. Lord Byron and His Times is a wonderfully dense collection of material on Byron and his contemporaries. Included are his memoirs, memoirs by his contemporaries, hundreds of letters, criticism and commentary, and document collections arranged by topic. This latter section is especially valuable for the introductory overviews that are provided. The various parts of this site have active links so you can identify the persons and writings referenced. The multiple layers embedded in this presentation are entrancing and informative. A great way to be introduced to this world.

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Biographies of New Jersey Governors

A very brief history and a complete list of New Jersey governors back to colonial times is available. Infoplease profiles many of the colonial governors as does encyclopedia.com. Biographies of post-colonial governors can be found at the National Governors’ Association and those who also served in Congress are profiled in the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774 – Present. Rutgers University’s Center for the American Governor has some very informative research on New Jersey governors; it also provides links to interviews/forums/resources for ex-Governors Byrne, Kean, Florio, and Whitman.

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The Real Monuments Men and Women

A group of approximately 350 men and women – artists, curators, educators, museum directors –  from more than a dozen countries operated under the U.S. Army’s Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program. They were tasked with retrieving art work looted by the Nazis; ultimately, Monuments Men went to Japan as well. From 1943 to 1946, they recovered vast numbers of masterworks that had been stripped from museums and private collections. The Archives of American Art has organized Monuments Men: On the Frontline to Save Europe’s Art, 1942-1946 featuring interviews and biographical information on some of these individuals. The Monuments Men Foundation has an extensive listing of those who participated in the program; where possible, biographical information is included. The Metropolitan Museum of Art has an itinerary and interactive map highlighting treasures held at the Met that were rescued by the Monuments Men. The National Archives hosts a Monuments Men site including finding aids, biographical essays, a link to a Prologue article Monuments Men and Nazi Treasure, and images of looted art. Monuments in Peril: The Rape of Europa is a very informative video on this topic.

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