February 28, 2003

Crimson Tidings

It might not seem like much, but when you're involved in historical research and you discover a new way to find stuff that may be relevant, it is a big deal. So I was delighted to find (thanks to a mention by Dave Winer) that Harvard University has put all of its Harvard Crimson archives online, full text, for free, going back to 1873, that's right, not 1973, but 1873! It's already proved to be a great resource; I've found two dozen articles relevant to my PLATO book project.

While it's not quite as big a deal as Google's unleashing all of USENET (a genuine goldmine I am still digging through), it has resulted in neat findings. Lots of people went to Harvard. Some of them even wrote for the Crimson. For example, Esther Dyson... I bet she never thought that 30+ years later, people would be re-reading her movie reviews from the late 60s and early 70s!

Update: Esther tells me the search results are incomplete... that she wrote other articles, including a "pool crawl" article about swimming pools around the world, and an "I-was-there" account of being an extra in Love Story. Of course, now everyone has to rush out and rent Love Story to find Esther... Also, this search yields more Esther results than the one above... Posted by brian at February 28, 2003 03:47 AM

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