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THE FOLLOWING RESOURCES provide a solid foundation for students and researchers working in the area of Native American studies and supplement that base with a rich, deep supply of primary-source documents. Facts On File's American Indian History Online and ABC-CLIO's The American Mosaic: The American Indian Experience combine an expansive array of primary sources with authoritative reference material culled chiefly from their respective catalogs. ABC-CLIO takes things a step further by incorporating extended scholarly discussions on a range of provocative questions posed by its advisory panel of Native American studies experts.
EBSCO Publishing's Native American Archives delivers rare photographs, treaties, court documents, census counts, and more. At a hefty 1.8 million pages, it dwarf the other products reviewed here. Gale Cengage, with three Native American-themed collections among its wide-ranging Archives Unbound releases, offers a fascinating body of material: the FBI's declassified and recently digitized files pertaining to its surveillance of the American Indian Movement.
American Indian History Online
Facts On File; www.infobasepublishing. com/OnlineProductDetail. aspx?ISBN=0816043779
CONTENT Facts On File's American Indian History Online offers straightforward access to more than 15,000 years of Native culture and history through an authoritative collection of materials on indigenous peoples of North and South America. The material spans a range of types. Biographies cover figures from Spanish missionaries in the 1500s to present-day writers, activists, and political figures. Event and Topic entries describe tribes, key concepts and themes, court cases and legislation, material culture, organizations, and contributions to society. The database also includes primary-source documents: the texts of legends, Supreme Court decisions, treaties, and tribal constitutions; time line entries from Liz Sonneborn's Chronology of American Indian History (Facts On File, 2007); historical images and videos from the Films Media Group; maps and charts; and information on tribes and culture areas. A tribe index representing more than 600 Native American groups together with a browse-by-culture-area feature spanning Ancient Cultures to Tropical Forests in South America enhance access, and Topic Centers, a group of specially selected entries organized by time period and North American culture areas, will help users find a starting point for research.
A comprehensive source list includes the publisher's Social Life and Issues volume from its Contemporary Native American Issues set, the "Landmark Events in Native American History" and "Indians of North America" series, Encyclopedia of Native American Contributions to the World, Native American Mythology A to Z, Biographical Dictionary of American Indian History to 1900, and Encyclopedia of Native American Religions.
The opening screen features an "Editor's Selection of the Month," currently highlighting Ruth Muskrat Bronson, an activist and educator who worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs Education Department.
USABILITY The material is organized within a colorful and interactive framework. Researchers can begin their work in multiple ways--through a basic or advanced search across all content; by browsing the six main categories (each allows for refinement by topic and time period) and/or the Tribes and Culture Areas; or by checking the Topic Center Index to get an overview of the subject matter. To further focus a topic, Biography browse includes narrowing by occupation (from Activists to Warriors, War Leaders, and Soldiers); Primary Sources by 16 document types (memoir, letters, court cases, etc.); and Legends by Full Text, Title, or one often Culture Areas.
A basic search for tribal colleges retrieved 227 records overall. Search results display in tabbed form, with sections for All, Biographies, Events & Topics, Primary Sources, Images & Videos, and Maps & Charts. A sampling of items included a comprehensive referenced article on community-controlled schools and tribal colleges, the full text of the Tribally Controlled Community College Assistance Act of 1978, a 2009 table/chart of tribally controlled colleges, and a biography of educator and historian Ruth Roessel.
Once an entry is selected, a sidebar displays handy links to related material. The tribal college query suggested the glossary term "Indian college," which narrowed our initial search to more-relevant items, including President Nixon's "Special Message to the Congress on Indian Affairs (1970)," during which he introduced a reformed federal Indian policy.
Topic Centers provide excellent avenues for exploration. In them are handpicked entries from all document types that provide a broad, inclusive look in an era- or culture-at-a-glance arrangement. We began with 1866-1890: The Indian Wars and were presented with an assortment of items to examine, starting with a brief definition of the topic. Important events, figures, and topics …