Posted by & filed under Data about Databases, Is that a Document?.

WWI posters display at UNT LibrariesThe UNT Eagle Commons Library has just put up a display of World War I posters that are featured in our Digital Collections. The display is accented by toy soldiers from UNT Library employee Bobby Griffith’s private collection.

As a fun way to see if the students looking at our library displays, we have placed a note in the display that if a student is interested in getting a toy soldier of their very own, they can ask for one at the Eagle Commons Library Service Desk.  We will be giving out one soldier per day, per patron.

These posters, as well as other World War I posters and related materials available the UNT Libraries, can be identified and located by searching the UNT Library Catalog.

For help accessing these posters or any UNT Libraries resources, please visit the Eagle Commons Library Service Desk or call 940-565-2194.

WWI Poster Exhibit at UNT Eagle Commons Library    WWI Poster Collection Exhibit at Eagle Commons Library

Article by Jenne Turner.

Photos by Bobby Griffith.

Posted by & filed under Data about Databases, Toys "R" U.S..

CDCCDC Headquarters (previously Centers for Disease Control; now Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but still retaining just the three letters) is the primary federal agency responsible for protecting public health in the United States. Its scientists and other researchers collect data in the United States and throughout the world to track diseases, investigate real and potential outbreaks, detect and minimize germs and other risk factors, and deal with just about every kind of health-related emergency.


CDC WONDER Home page (detail)CDC WONDER (the slightly strained acronym is short for “Wide-ranging ONline Data for Epidemiologic Research”) is an online public information health system created by CDC.  It provides an integrated, one-stop point of access for the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), prevention guidelines, and numerous other CDC reports and guidelines. There is also a vast collection of statistics related to public health.

These are a few of the topics you can find information on here:

  • Births and deaths, including cause of death
  • Risky behaviors
  • Incidents of cancer, AIDS, diabetes, and many other diseases
  • Hospital discharges

Each data set can be investigated through a system of menus, search boxes, and fill-in-the-blank request forms. When the data is retrieved, it can be viewed online or exported into a word processor, spreadsheet, or statistical analysis program. If you wish to report an error or other problem, need technical assistance, or just want to make a comment, there is a customer support team to help you.

In addition to providing the general public with access to information from the CDC, this database provides fast, simplified access to timely data that doctors, researchers, and administrators can use for investigating public health concerns, setting priorities, making decisions, allocating resources, and evaluating programs.

PHIL: Public Health Image Library

Sample image from the Public Health Image LibraryIt has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and the field of public health is a prime example of an area of knowledge where it is often easier to communicate through images rather than through text. The Public Health Image Library, affectionately known as PHIL, is a central database providing access to CDC’s photographs, illustrations, and videos. Public health professionals, journalists, scientists, teachers, students, and authors can all find a wealth of imagery here ready to use in articles, lectures, textbooks, and public health messages.

Images can be searched by keyword, image type, and subject matter. If you really want to get specific, you can also search by date the image was created or uploaded, or by the CDC location, sub-agency, or personnel associated with the image.

Most of the images are in the public domain, although some are protected by copyright. A fair use statement is provided with each image to let you know the copyright status. You can even restrict your search to only public domain products.

Solve the Outbreak

Disease Detective badgeIf you’d like to have a taste of what it’s like to be a CDC researcher, download the Solve the Outbreak app and see if you have what it takes to be a Disease Detective. This app provides various realistic outbreak scenarios, providing you an opportunity in each case to figure out what is happening, why, how it started, and how it is spreading.  Download the app to your tablet or phone and become the star of your own version of CSI!

Preparedness 101: Zombie Pandemic

Zombie apocolypseZombies have been all the rage for several years now in movies, TV shows, comic books, and other popular media. CDC has prepared an emergency preparedness campaign around the theme of a zombie apocalypse, using humor to engage audiences and deliver a message of deadly serious import. It’s an unlikely event to say the least, but if you’re prepared for a zombie apocalypse, surely you’ll be prepared for anything!

Here are some downloadable zombie products to help teach emergency preparedness:

[Update: The CDC “Preparedness 101: Zombie Pandemic” campaign was retired in 2021. You can still learn how to prepare yourself and others for various emergencies and disasters by visiting the Prepare Your Health website at]

Would You Like to Know More?

These products provide barely a glimpse of the rich treasure available from CDC. Here are a few more examples of the plethora of informative and entertaining products available on the CDC Web site:

To learn more about health in the United States, visit for information about  Medicaid, Medicare, drugs and other treatments, biomedical research, safety, health-care administration, health-care costs, and much more.

Illustrations: images of CDC headquarters, PHIL sample image, Disease Detective badge, zombie apocalypse illustration, and CDC WONDER opening screen courtesy of CDC Web site.

Article by Bobby Griffith.

Posted by & filed under Hot Docs.

President Obama signing Executive Order 13672

It doesn’t make much sense, but today in America, millions of our fellow citizens wake up and go to work with the awareness that they could lose their job, not because of anything they do or fail to do, but because of who they are — lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender. And that’s wrong.

So spoke President Obama on Monday in the remarks he gave before signing Executive Order 13672, finally fulfilling a campaign promise made in 2008.

Discrimination among Federal Contractors Prohibited

In 1965 President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Executive Order 11246, which prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors and federally-assisted construction contractors and subcontractors that generally have contracts that exceed $10,000 from discriminating in employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. President Barack Obama amended this order to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protected classes.

Discrimination in Civilian Federal Workforce Prohibited

Obama’s order also amends Executive Order 11478, signed by President Nixon in 1969 to prohibit discrimination in the civilian federal workforce on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, handicap, and age. President Clinton had already amended this order (in Executive Order 13087) to include sexual orientation in the list of protected classes, and later signed Executive Order 13152 to add the category of “an individual’s status as a parent,” as well as a detailed definition of that new category. Obama’s order adds gender identity to the list of protected classes.

Religious Exemption

Obama’s order keeps intact an amendment signed by President George W. Bush that allows religiously-affiliated federal contractors to give preference in hiring to members of their own religion, but adds no new religious exemptions, as some constitutional law professors and religious and civil rights organizations had feared might happen in the wake of the recent Hobby Lobby decision by the Supreme Court.

Discrimination in the General Workforce

Several bills have been introduced in Congress that would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in all workplaces, not just federal, but so far none has passed. The most recent, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013 (S.815), has passed in the Senate, but not in the House of Representatives.

Would You Like to Know More?

Learn About Executive Order 13672
·         Read the full text of Executive Order 13672
·         Read a transcript of the President’s opening remarks
·         Watch the signing ceremony on YouTube
·         Read a White House fact sheet explaining more about this executive order

Learn About Executive Orders

An executive order is an official document issued by the president to manage the operations of the federal government.
·         Learn about the executive order process and how to search for and read an executive order at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
·         Browse all executive orders from Abraham Lincoln to the present at the American Presidency Project.
·         Learn How Executive Orders Work at HowStuffWorks.

Image from White House video of the signing ceremony.

Article by Bobby Griffith.

Posted by & filed under Get Help.

Uncle Sam holding a bag of your moneyDid you ever leave a job and forget to pick up your last paycheck? Maybe you never collected your security deposit after moving from an apartment, or perhaps you have a rebate coming for a computer you purchased decades ago, or a refund for an overcharge on a long-forgotten electric bill.

Billions of dollars are being held by the government because the rightful owners don’t know how to find it or that it even exists. These forgotten funds can come from bank closings, matured savings bonds, pensions, mortgage refunds, and many other sources. Here is a way to discover whether the government is holding onto any money that rightfully belongs to you.

Unclaimed funds are usually held by individual state treasuries, so to do a thorough search you should be sure to check with each state in which you have ever lived. The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) has a Web site at where you can select a state from a clickable map (or select from a drop-down menu) and find out whether that state has unclaimed property in your name. You can also search several states simultaneously by going to, another site sponsored by NAUPA.

You can find other sources of Unclaimed Money from the Government at the government information Web site.

Beware of scammers who claim to be government agencies and offer to reunite you with your money for a pre-paid fee or who ask you for personal financial information that could be used to access your bank account. The Federal Trade Commission has information on how to recognize, avoid, and report these Government Imposter Scams.

Article by Bobby Griffith.

Illustration from the USGS publication Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country.

Posted by & filed under Is that a Document?.

Summer is a popular season for vacations, both of the body and of the mind. In addition to visiting the most popular, exciting, relaxing, or inspiring physical destinations around the globe, we can visit—through the magic of the author’s art working upon our own vivid imaginations—places that might otherwise be inaccessible because they are of another time, are in a place too far for us to reach, or are purely imaginary.

Literary maps can orient us to the real-world geographical locations associated with our favorite authors and their works, as well as to the imaginary places they might write about so vividly that it’s hard to believe they don’t actually exist somewhere. Perhaps you would like to visit the house where Shakespeare was born, follow Huckleberry Finn’s journey down the Mississippi, or imagine yourself spending some time in Gabriel García Márquez’s Macondo, James Branch Cabell’s Poictesme, Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland, or even Dante’s Inferno.

Literary Maps at the Library of Congress

Language of the Land (cover)The Library of Congress has more than 200 literary maps in its Geography and Map Division.

A selection of these were featured in an exhibit called Language of the Land: Journeys into Literary America, and the entire collection has been listed and described in a fully annotated cartobibliography called Language of the Land: The Library of Congress Book of Literary Maps. (View the Language of the Land cartobibliography online at HathiTrust.)

An article by Martha Hopkins, adapted from her introduction to this book, describes the nature, types, and purposes of literary maps.

Classroom Maps by Barbara Rogers Houseworth

Barbara Marie Rogers Houseworth was a brilliant but under-appreciated Indiana artist who was commissioned during the 1950s and 1960s to create a series of maps to aid in the appreciation of several classic works being taught in high school English classes. In addition to showing geographic locations mentioned in these works, the maps feature vignettes that illustrate key scenes in the story. The UNT Libraries own her maps to accompany Homer’s Odyssey [view also Barbara Houseworth’s Odyssey map online] and Vergil’s Aeneid. Other maps she created include the following:

  • William Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Julius Caesar
  • Homer’s Iliad
  • Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities
  • George Eliot’s Silas Marner
  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s Evangeline
  • Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick [see also Everett Henry’s map of the Voyage of the Pequod]

Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Salem: Literary Salem in the Early Nineteenth Century, a Walking Tour

Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in Salem, Massachusetts, spent much of his life there, and wrote about Salem’s history, culture, and landmarks in some of his most well-known works. With the aid of this pamphlet you can learn about Hawthorne’s life and career while you take a walking tour through Salem and visit Hawthorne’s birthplace at 115 Derby Street; the Custom House, where he worked for several years; the Turner Mansion (better known as “The House of the Seven Gables”); Gallows Hill, where many accused of witchcraft were hanged; and many other historical venues. You won’t find Hawthorne’s famous homestead The Old Manse here, though, because that’s in Concord!

You can also view Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Salem at HathiTrust.

A Chart of The Pilgrim’s Progress, by Bill Polvogt

Carl William (Bill) Polvogt, Jr. was a commercial artist and cartoonist who was living in Dallas, Texas when he created this whimsically illustrated guide to John Bunyan’s brilliantly original but dour Christian allegory in the mid-1950s. Polvogt was no stranger to drawing maps—while attending the University of Texas at Austin, he created a humorous promotional map of the UT-Austin campus, which was sold at Hemphill’s Book Store.

Although he deferentially  offered “apologies to Mr. John Bunyan” below his title, someone above was perhaps not pleased, for Mr. Polvogt’s advertising firm filed for bankruptcy less than ten years later.

A Chart of the Pilgrim's Progress (detail)    A Chart of the Pilgrim's Progress (detail)

Land of OZ Globe from the U.S. Geological Survey

The Land of OZ and its environs have been mapped many times since The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was first published in 1900, but the location and geography of the Land of Oz have always been vaguely and inconsistently portrayed in the books by Frank Baum and others. Is it in a desert somewhere in the American west? Is it a continent in the south Pacific? Is it an allegorical representation of the United States or China?

Land of OZ GlobeThis interpretation by a group of USGS cartographers takes a cue from Baum’s Tik-Tok of Oz—where the character JinJin is said to live in a land that lies on the opposite side of the earth from Oz, accessible through a Hollow Tube—and depicts Oz and the surrounding countries on a symmetrically interrupted sinusoidal projection that can be cut out and assembled around a tennis ball to create a three-dimensional globe.

The globe was published in the Spring 1997 Oz Gazette, accompanied by an article that teaches children about maps and map projections.

A brief article about the globe entitled “Off to See the Wizard? Here’s Your Map” appeared in the Virginian-Pilot newspaper on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz.

To download a copy of this cut-and-assemble educational toy, go to the USGS Store at and search for “Land of OZ.”

Interactive Online Literary Maps

These online maps can be used to explore the literary heritage of various specific geographic locations, as well as to explore the geography of some of your favorite works of literature.

  • Bay Area Literary Map: Use this map to learn about authors who were from or who lived in San Francisco and the surrounding area. You can also find locations of the many local bookstores and find links to the Web sites of authors who currently live in the Bay Area.
  • Literary Map of BrooklynThe borough of Brooklyn has spawned an extraordinary number of great poets, novelists, children’s book authors, and nonfiction writers. Use this interactive map to identify birthplaces and residences of these illustrious authors and read excerpts from their creations.
  • Literary Map of Detroit: Use this site to identify and learn about locations with literary significance in Detroit and environs. The site also provides bibliographies of works by and about Detroit authors.
  • A Literary Map of Manhattan: Roam an interactive map of the island, or browse a list of authors and titles, to see literary quotations related to specific addresses in Manhattan.
  • Placing Literature: Where Your Book Meets the Map: Use Google Maps to find or plot locations mentioned in a work of fiction, or  explore the literary works and authors associated with a specific location.

These are just a few of the many literary maps available in the UNT Libraries Map Collection or on the Internet. Maybe one of them will inspire your next vacation!

Article by Bobby Griffith.

Posted by & filed under Special Days.

The Little Schoolmistress, by ChardinThe first week in May is traditionally celebrated in the United States as Teacher Appreciation Week. Today is National Teacher Day, also known as National Teacher Appreciation Day. Join millions of students and former students across the country and take this opportunity to show our teachers how important they are in our lives.

The National Education Association has many suggestions on their blog for activities and events you can participate in to show your teachers how special they have been to you.

The U.S. Department of Education has created a Thank a Teacher sign that you can download, print out, and post on social media such as Facebook and Twitter to express your appreciation of a teacher who has inspired you.

Teachers often work hard and provide invaluable services for very little pay. If you are a teacher, there are several business offering freebies and discounts today as a token of their appreciation. Here are some of the offers available:

Is there a teacher who has been especially influential in your life? Express your appreciation today!

Illustration: The Little Schoolmistress, oil painting by Jean Baptiste Siméon Chardin in the Andrew W. Mellon Collection at the National Gallery of Art.

Article by Bobby Griffith.

Posted by & filed under Special Days, Toys "R" U.S..

Smokey Bear will be turning 70 this August, but birthday celebrations are already underway. Smokey’s Cascade Campout, an annual national convention sponsored by the Smokey Bear Association and the Des Chutes Historical Museum, took place in Bend, Oregon on April 23 through 25.

Although the UNT Government Documents Department members did not attend the 2014 Smokey Bear Association conference, the Department does boast a unique collection of Smokey realia, some of which was photographed by Betty Monterroso and curated by Dr. Cathy Sassen. The Department followed the Conference events via Facebook postings from Tami Hert, a former UNT Texas Documents librarian who currently heads the Emmett D. Chisum Special Collections at the University of Wyoming Libraries. It is alleged that members of the Department even sang the song “Smokey the Bear” in support of the conference. 

UNT Smokey Bear collection

The star of our Smokey Bear collection is this 8 1/2” articulated plastic action figure with fabric jeans, a hat, and a shovel, manufactured in Hong Kong and sold by the popular toy company R. Dakin & Co. (now merged with Applause Inc.).

Also visible here are a vintage jigsaw puzzle still in its cellophane wrapper; The True Story of Smokey Bear, a comic book relating Smokey’s origin; a 40th birthday card from the Dallas Public Library; and several stamps.

UNT Smokey Bear collection

This photo includes the 1952 song “Smokey the Bear” by Steve Nelson and Walter E. “Jack” Rollins (who also wrote “Here Comes Peter Cottontail” and “Frosty the Snowman”); a stamped-metal  Junior Forest Ranger Badge; and a poster advertising Smokey’s 50th birthday.

UNT Smokey Bear collection

The whole UNT Libraries Smokey Bear kit. The pamphlet in center front is the Junior Forest Ranger Handbook. The newspaper clipping off to the left is an article about the death of the real Smokey Bear at the National Zoo in 1976. See our Smokey Bear kit catalog record for a complete list of items in the collection.

Photos by Betty Monterroso

Article by Bobby Griffith and Melody Kelly

Posted by & filed under Local Doings, Special Days.

NASA Blue Marble photo of EarthIn April of 1970 the first Earth Day, a project conceived by Senator Gaylord Nelson and coordinated by Harvard University student Denis Hayes, sparked a grassroots environmental movement that has continued unabated to this day. Every April 22 citizens of over 190 countries throughout the world now take the opportunity to honor Mother Earth and renew their commitment to the environment. Coincidentally (or conspiratorially?), Earth Day also happens to be the Episcopal feast day of conservationist John Muir (and one day after his birthday), the birthday of Arbor Day founder J. Sterling Morton, and the birthday of communist leader Vladimir Lenin!


The creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency was one of the most important outcomes of the first Earth Day. This agency was established by President Richard Nixon and Congress to repair damage done to the environment and to establish guidelines that would ensure clean water, air, and land for America.

Other landmark legislation inspired by the first Earth Day includes the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and—a few years later—the Endangered Species Act.


EPA’s Earth Day Take Home Kit provides tips you and your family can use to protect your home and environment while celebrating Earth Day.

The UNT Libraries have provided some resources to help you identify library materials related to Earth Day:


Here are some opportunities for participating in Earth Day this year. Although Earth Day officially takes place on April 22, related activities may occur on other days close to that date.

  • UNT’s Earth Week celebrations begin on April 21, 2014.
  • Denton Earth Day Events lists several environmental events and activities that are occurring in or around Denton, Texas.
  • Earth Day Texas is a free two-day outdoor festival that promotes environmental awareness and activity among residents of the north Texas area. It will take place on April 26 and 27 in Fair Park.
  • Earth Day Network coordinates Earth Day events and other activities to promote environmental awareness and action all over the world. Included on their Web site is a list of featured Earth Day Events Worldwide.
  • NASA invites you to take part in a world-wide #GlobalSelfie event. On April 22, 2014, go outside and take a selfie to show where you are on Earth Day, and NASA will compile the photos into a mosaic image of Earth built out of everyone’s photos.

Illustration: “The Blue Marble,” from NASA’s Visible Earth photo collection.

Article by Bobby Griffith.

Posted by & filed under Data about Databases.

The state of Texas has a rich, sometimes controversial, but always fascinating history, a variegated geography, and a multifaceted culture that brings together many traditions and experiences. Here are some of the most valuable and easily-accessible resources for learning about our state.

Portal to Texas History logo

The Portal to Texas History

This collaborative program gives students, teachers, researchers, and lifelong learners free online access to a plethora of priceless resources held by participating libraries, museums, archives, historical societies, and private collections throughout the state of Texas. Ceaselessly growing, the Portal contains well over thirteen and a half million digital files and receives close to one and a half million hits every month.

Here you can find digital reproductions of every kind of historical treasure: not just books and other documents, but also photographs, maps, letters, newspapers, and miscellaneous realia such as Texas trade tokens.

The Portal’s Resources4 Educators pages provide lesson plans and other educational materials that comply with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards established by the State Board of Education. Many items from the Portal that are especially relevant to students and classroom teachers are highlighted here.

The New Handbook of TexasThe Handbook of Texas

This multidisciplinary encyclopedia, published by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), is the most comprehensive and authoritative single-stop source of information on Texas history, geography, and culture.

In its earliest form, The Handbook of Texas was a two-volume encyclopedia developed over twelve years and published in 1952. Conceived by the eminent historian and TSHA president Walter Prescott Webb, it was a joint project of the TSHA and the history department at The University of Texas, where Webb was also a faculty member. The primary responsibility for directing and editing was assigned to H. Bailey Carroll, who was the associate director of TSHA and also a faculty member at The University of Texas. A third, supplementary volume was added during the U.S. Bicentennial in 1976.

The New Handbook of Texas was published in 1996 after thirteen years of preparation. Representing the combined labor of over 3000 authors, editors, and reviewers, its six massive volumes contain well over 23,000 articles, including detailed histories of every county and all the major cities in Texas and over 7000 biographies of famous and lesser-known Texans. Of particular value is the large amount of information on the African-American and Mexican-American communities in Texas and on the contributions of women and women’s organizations to Texas history and culture.

The Handbook of Texas Online went live on the Internet in 1999. It contained the complete text of the print edition of The New Handbook of Texas, with all the corrections that had been incorporated into the Handbook‘s second printing, plus about 400 articles that had not been included in the print edition because of space limitations. The Handbook of Texas Online contains over 25,000 articles and continues to receive updates as new information becomes available. Each article includes a bibliography of sources and a full citation to the article in Chicago style.

Texas AlmanacTexas Almanac

From its first edition, published by The Galveston News in 1857, to its current incarnation, the Texas Almanac has evolved from a series of pamphlets published once a year and focusing on Texas history and the workings of state government to an invaluable quick-reference tool, published in paper and online by the Texas State Historical Association and containing a wealth of data on resources, industries, commerce, history, government, population, and other subjects relating to the political, civic, and economic development of Texas.

An archive of Texas Almanacs from 1857 to 2009 is available to the public online and free of charge through the Portal to Texas History. Issues of the Texas Almanac from 2010 to the present are available online through a subscription service or at various public and college libraries, including the University of North Texas Libraries. Paper copies are also available at various public and college libraries, although the specific holdings will vary by institution.

Contact the UNT Government Documents Department if you would like more information about how to use the paper copies or the online versions of these invaluable Texas informational resources.

Article by Bobby Griffith.

Posted by & filed under Is that a Document?, Special Days.

Hillary Clinton presents the National Heritage Fellowship to Mick MoloneyEvery year since 1991, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation declaring the month of March to be Irish-American Heritage Month, honoring the contributions of Irish immigrants and their descendants to American life and culture.

Here are just a few government publications to help you celebrate Irish-American culture today and throughout the month of March:


Cover of Four Dubliners, by Richard EllmannFour Dubliners—Wilde, Yeats, Joyce, and Beckett: Richard Ellmann was a widely-respected American literary critic who wrote important biographies of several Irish authors. In 1982, he gave a series of lectures at the Library of Congress discussing the lives and careers of four of Ireland’s most important authors: Oscar Wilde, William Butler Yeats, James Joyce, and Samuel Beckett. The lectures were originally published separately in four tiny books, and then in 1986 they were revised and brought together in this collection, which also points out some intriguing connections among these authors. Audio recordings of the original lectures are available at the Library of Congress.


Cover of Ethnic Recordings in America by the American Folklife Center“Irish ethnic recordings and the Irish-American imagination,” in Ethnic Recordings in America: A Neglected Heritage: The American Folklife Center was established by Congress in 1976 “to preserve and present American folklife.” Their first major public event was a conference discussing sound recordings of various ethnic musical traditions in the United States. The presentations at that conference became the basis of a 1982 book. Irish-American folklorist and musician Mick Moloney’s chapter on Irish recordings explores several strains of Irish-American music, including works by Irish-American composers trained in the western European classical tradition, vaudeville comedy numbers and similar “stage-Irish” songs, traditional Irish dance tunes, and hybrid forms that combine these strains with traits of American popular music. He also discusses the surge of American interest in Irish folk music during the 1960s and 70s that was stimulated by the popularity of Irish performers such as the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem.

If It Wasn’t for the Irish and the Jews: Irish and Jewish Influences on the Music of Vaudeville and Tin Pan Alley: In 2009, Mick Moloney gave an illustrated talk on a largely forgotten, yet highly influential, period in American popular music. This Web site provides a summary of the lecture and a recording of the Webcast.

Irish Tin-Whistle Instruction Books: A Bibliography: The tin-whistle, also known as the penny-whistle, among other names, is inexpensive (although it does cost a bit more than a penny!) and easy to play, making it one of the most popular instruments for playing traditional Irish folk music. This historic reference aid from the American Folklife Center lists several instruction books that were published in the 1970s in Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.


Whole-Wheat Irish Soda Bread,” from The Eating Well Diabetes Cookbook: This healthy adaptation of a traditional Irish recipe comes from a commercial publication, but is made available online free of charge, courtesy of the U.S. Army Medical Department’s Fox Army Health Center.

Colcannon Soup with Oven-Roasted Kale: This delicious soup recipe, inspired by a traditional Irish dish combining mashed potatoes with cabbage or kale, appears on the Web site of the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA), which operates a worldwide chain of commissaries that provide groceries to military personnel, retirees, and their families.


Article by Bobby Griffith.

Photo credit: Folklorist and musician Mick Moloney receiving America’s  highest honor in the folk and traditional arts, the NEA National Heritage Fellowship, from then First Lady Hillary Clinton in 1999 (American Folklife Center).