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GATEWAYS

One of the greatest features of the Internet is that people, regardless of their location, can have instant access to digitized information anywhere in the world. A single organization can load information into a computer and keep it current. That organization can then make its computer files available to other users.

DIGITAL LIBRARIES

Numerous libraries have created digital files of some of their holdings. Until recently a person could only do serious research at the Library of Congress by going there in person. The same was true for the University of Georgia Library. Now both have stored much of their historical material on computers—accessible to researchers from anywhere in the world. Although access to some of the material is restricted to faculty, employees, students, etc., much is available to the general public at no charge!

The Digital Library of Georgia is described as "a gateway to Georgia's history and culture found in digitized books, manuscripts, photographs, newspapers, audio, video, and other materials." http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/

Other selected online library collections that should interest Murray residents include The Library of Congress http://www.loc.gov/ and the National Archives and Records Center http://www.archives.gov.

VIRTUAL TOURS OF ART MUSEUMS

Some art museums offer virtual tours through which you can read about individual works of art and see excellent pictures of them. This means that from Murray County, Georgia, computer users can visit our National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, (http://www.nga.gov) or the J. Paul Getty Museum (http://www.getty.edu/museum/) in Los Angeles. Heck, why not tour the louvre in Paris (http://www.louvre.fr/) or the Hermitage (http://www.hermitagemuseum.org) in St. Petersburg ?!?

The National Gallery of Art usually provides digitized images of special exhibits. Click here to see what is currently available on their website: http://www.nga.gov

Major art museums world-wide offer some degree of digital viewing by computer. With museums holding hundreds of thousands, even millions, of works of art, digitizing will be a work-in-progress for many many years! To visit the site of any museum, simply do a Google search for it by name, then click on the museum's official website and get lost in its art collection.

One of the most impressive virtual exhibits is at the Netherlands' Rijksmuseum http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/ After selecting the category "masterpieces"some 300 tiny pictures appear on a single screen. When you rest the computer mouse on one of the small pictures, it is enlarged to show the detail.

ONLINE NEWSPAPERS AND MAGAZINES

To see names of major newspapers published in a country, go to http://www.world-newspapers.com then click on any country name. For historical research purposes some of the oldest newspapers, especially in the U.K. have more than 200 years of back issues online and searchable from anywhere. Searches usually cost nothing. To buy a copy of one news story usually costs less than $10, payable by credit card. However, buying copies of many articles at the same time can reduce the price to perhaps $1 per article. Read their costs before you decide to buy. Some of the papers, list ARCHIVES as one of their website sections. If you can't find what you're looking for, go to the bottom of their website's home page and hit the "Contact us" option to email them.

Another online service, http://www.newspaperarchive.com claims to have billions of newspaper articles online. Very similar to preceding site except this one specializes in old news stories.

Either of these can provide news stories written at the time that a major historical event occurred, reflecting the thinking of that era.

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