Category Archives: Collections and Resources

Information about USMA Library collections and resources.

Discover a Database – LexisNexis

 

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LexisNexis Academic is a database that faculty and students will want to examine for searching legal cases, whether federal or state. In addition, business news and up-to-date hot topics are readily searchable in full text.

COVERAGE:

  • Legal
    • Extensive legal sources for federal and state cases and statutes, including U.S. Supreme Court decisions since 1790
    • Federal court decisions, laws and regulations
    • State court decisions and state codes, including constitutions, court rules and attorneys general opinions
    • Verify authority with Shepard’s® Citations Service
  • News
    • Broadcast transcripts from network and major cable news sources
    • Newswire services to keep you current, since they are updated during the day
    • Blogs and videos
  • Business
    • Business information on over 80 million U.S. and international companies

SEARCHING: LexisNexisAcademic has a customized search box for beginners, and advanced search ability for more experienced searchers. Search options:

  • For beginners or for quick searches, see the large red “Academic Search” box which searches content across the combined collection of resources.

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  • Advanced searchers can limit their searches by clicking on Advanced Options to limit by date, source and content type.

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MOST HELPFUL FEATURES

  • Hot Topic Links are updated as news happens; a great place to start your research
  • Source Directory allows you to use Find to search by keyword or Browse to limit your search by publication type
  • Check out the widgets LexisNexis has already created, which make it super easy to search. For example, in the NEWS widget you can limit your search by publication, wire service or even blogs. The BUSINESS widget lets you get at company information by name or ticker symbol. Search legal cases easily by citation, using the LEGAL widget—or, if you should happen to know the parties involved, such as Miranda v. Arizona, you could easily get these results:

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REFERENCES

  • Click on Create Permanent Link to the right of the center of your screen

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to obtain a permanent link for your document, so that you can return to it at a later time and provide an accurate reference for an assignment .

Please contact us if you have need assistance using this resource.

Contents contributed by Manja Yirka, Continuing Resources Librarian

Flirtation Walk

The lower pathway from Kosciusko’s Garden leads the visitor on a delightful walk to Gee’s Point. (image courtesy of USMA Library’s Special Collection and Archives Department)

The lower pathway from Kosciusko’s Garden leads the visitor on a delightful walk to Gee’s Point. (image courtesy of USMA Library’s Special Collection and Archives Department)

Order No. 32 of the Academic Regulations, dated May 6, 1843, extended the prescribed geographic limits for cadets “to include the new walk commencing near the flag staff, thence descending in the rear of the chain battery, by Gee’s Point thru Kosciusko’s Garden and joining the road to the Hospital opposite the south end of the Academy Building.  The Superintendent hopes he may not have occasion to withdraw this indulgence in consequence of any improprieties – and that all will exert themselves to secure this recreation to the Corps by effectually arresting any attempt to evade the regulation of the Academy.”

In the 1840’s this pathway was referred to as the ”hanging walk” to Kosciusko’s Garden, a pleasant place for strolling and dreaming and chatting about furlough plans. Perhaps a more appropriate name was “Chain Battery Walk,” for it led down to the site of the old battery guarding the chain which stretched across the Hudson River during the Revolutionary War. To cadets, whose exclusive preserve it was, the area became known as Flirtation Walk, a place of relative privacy on a crowded post.

In 1934 a commercial film entitled Flirtation Walk was released. It starred Dick Powell as a soldier in love with a general’s daughter, played by Ruby Keeler.  You can check out a copy of this film from the Library’s media collection and read more about this film and others regarding West Point here.

Contents contributed by Alicia Mauldin Ware, Archives Curator.

Pictures from Panama – Celebrating the Centennial

Jonas Lie, The Gates of Pedro Miguel, 1913.  Oil on canvas. (West Point Museum Collection, United States Military Academy; Anonymous gift in honor of MG George W. Goethals  (USMA 1880), chief engineer of the Panama Canal)

Jonas Lie, “The Gates of Pedro Miguel,” 1913. Oil on canvas. (West Point Museum Collection, United States Military Academy; Anonymous gift in honor of MG George W. Goethals (USMA 1880), chief engineer of the Panama Canal)

Opening at the West Point Museum in early December 2014, the exhibition Pictures from Panama celebrates the centennial anniversary of the opening of the Panama Canal and features a selection of artists who captured the construction of the canal in all of its glory and communicated the massive scale of this virtually incomprehensible feat of engineering to American audiences. This exhibition highlights a variety of paintings, prints, watercolors and photographs from the collections of the West Point Museum and the Special Collections and Archives Department of the United States Military Academy Library.

Ernest “Red” Hallen, Gatun Middle Locks. Construction of Center Wall, Looking North, from Upper Lock, February 15, 1911.  Gelatin silver print. (United States Military Academy Library, West Point, NY; Gift of MG George W. Goethals  (USMA 1880), chief engineer of the Panama Canal)

Ernest “Red” Hallen, “Gatun Middle Locks. Construction of Center Wall, Looking North, from Upper Lock,” February 15, 1911. Gelatin silver print. (USMA Library Special Collections and Archives Department, West Point, NY; Gift of MG George W. Goethals (USMA 1880), chief engineer of the Panama Canal)

Ernest “Red” Hallen, Gatun Upper Locks. View Looking North, Showing Progress of Construction of Upper Guard Gates in the East Chamber, August 5, 1911.  Gelatin silver print. (United States Military Academy Library, West Point, NY; Gift of MG George W. Goethals  (USMA 1880), chief engineer of the Panama Canal)

Ernest “Red” Hallen, “Gatun Upper Locks. View Looking North, Showing Progress of Construction of Upper Guard Gates in the East Chamber,” August 5, 1911. Gelatin silver print. [USMA Library Special Collections and Archives Department,, West Point, NY; Gift of MG George W. Goethals (USMA 1880), chief engineer of the Panama Canal]

The Panama Canal was the largest construction project ever carried out by the United States when it took over the endeavor from the French in 1904. When the canal officially opened on August 15, 1914, it was the pinnacle achievement of the American industrial revolution culminating in the connection of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The canal was beneficial both economically and strategically to the United States, opening a new route for international commerce, providing a more efficient means for our military to move from one ocean to the other, and positioning America as a dominant power on the world stage.

The sheer size and scope of this project, even by today’s standards, seemed insurmountable. Ultimately, the waterway became a symbol of American pride and identity. The canal and its construction were mainstays of American discourse for well over twenty years. In order to document this marvel, artists, both invited and uninvited, visited the Canal Zone during construction and translated what they saw and experienced into a variety of mediums.

Most artists who visited the Canal Zone were given access to more iconic sites within the construction area to work. However, photographer Ernest Hallen was allowed unprecedented access to all areas of the site and, as a result, gave the American people an incredible perspective of the canal construction from start to finish. In 1907, at the age of 32, Ernest “Red” Hallen was appointed the official photographer of the Panama Canal project by the Isthmian Canal Commission, the American body overseeing the construction of the canal. Hallen remained on site until he retired from federal service in 1937, documenting every aspect of the construction, operation and the surrounding landscape at the Canal Zone. His resulting black and white photographs were published in the newspapers and magazines back home, which, for many Americans, were the only sources to witness the construction of this incredible engineering achievement.

Unlike the convenient and instantly gratifying digital photography used today, photography at the beginning of the 20th century was just beginning to flourish as both a documentary source and an art form. The camera, itself, was a bulky apparatus that had to be transported and set up from site to site. Additionally, the process to create a photograph was manually intensive and time consuming.

Ernest “Red” Hallen, Close View of Slide at Culebra-on-the-dump. Looking South, June 1912.  Gelatin silver print. (United States Military Academy Library, West Point, NY; Gift of MG George W. Goethals  (USMA 1880), chief engineer of the Panama Canal)

Ernest “Red” Hallen, “Close View of Slide at Culebra-on-the-dump. Looking South, June 1912.” Gelatin silver print. [USMA Library Special Collections and Archives Department, West Point, NY; Gift of MG George W. Goethals (USMA 1880), chief engineer of the Panama Canal]

Over his thirty-year career, Hallen produced more than 16,000 photographs of the Canal Zone and the surrounding environment. The images are remarkable because they thoroughly document the canal construction and offer great insight into the redevelopment of the landscape, construction methods, use of the completed canal and the life of the Panamanian population in the Canal Zone over a span of thirty years. Hallen would often return to the same area on multiple occasions to photograph the progress made at a particular site. While the photographs primarily served a documentary purpose, they are raw, highly dramatic images, which, intentionally or not, are beautifully artistic in their composition.

The small selection of Hallen’s oeuvre featured in the exhibition Pictures from Panama at the West Point Museum is from the collection of Major General George Goethals, chief engineer of the Panama Canal and a West Point graduate (Class of 1880). Goethals’ collection of Hallen’s photographs is the most comprehensive and complete set of Hallen’s work, comprising 45 volumes of images, all printed by Hallen, himself. Goethals gave this wonderful collection to the Library at the United States Military Academy. The photographs provide superb visual insight into the construction of the Panama Canal and are great examples of American photography.

*Pictures from Panama opens at the West Point Museum in early December 2014. Please see the Museum Facebook page for exact dates and times: www.facebook.com/westpointmuseum.

Contents contributed by Marlana Cook, Curator of Art, West Point Museum

Access to NYTimes.com Available through USMA Library

We now have a site license to NYTimes.com available for cadets, faculty, and staff with USMA email addresses. Below is information on how to set up access. You may also view a brief video tutorial on setting up an academic pass.

What is included:

  • Unlimited access to current content posted to NYTimes.com.
  • Unlimited access to archived content published prior to 1923 and after 1980.
  • Five free articles per day published between 1923-1980 (Please note that USMA Library has complete, unlimited archival full-text access to the New York Times separate from the NYTimes.com website).
  • Access to the New York Times via Smartphone app (iPhone, Blackberry 10, Windows Phone 7, Android-powered phones).
  • Access to these services for the life of the contract (until the end of September 2015). Access beyond September 2015 is subject to funding and contract renewal.

What is NOT included:

  • Tablet apps (iPad, Kindle Fire, Windows 8 Desktop and Tablet, Android-powered tablets – You may view all NYTimes.com website content while logged in through the browsers on these devices).
  • E-Reader editions.
  • Premium Crosswords or The New York Times Crosswords apps.
  • Any other premium/subscription-based New York Times apps.
  • Times Premier.
  • The ability to share your Academic Pass digital access with others.

Program eligibility:

  • Anyone with an active usma.edu email address can enroll in the program licensed through USMA Library.
  • Employees, contractors, graduates, and other affiliates without usma.edu email addresses are not eligible.
  • Family members and other dependents are not eligible.

How to enroll:

  • You need to have a valid usma.edu email address and access to that email account.
  • You must log in to or create an NYTimes.com account with your usma.edu email address. Registration FAQ.
  • You cannot claim an Academic Pass if you are already a digital access subscriber.
  • Visit the website: https://myaccount.nytimes.com/verification/edupass to enroll.

How to use the pass:

  • After activating a pass, you need to be logged in to your NYTimes.com account on the device you are using to read New York Times content. While logged in, you can access unlimited content from any network or location for the duration of your pass (late September 2015).

Please let me know if you have any questions or issues.

LibGuides Supporting Department of Social Sciences.

The USMA Library has published two new LibGuides supporting the Department of Social Sciences.

Economics

Could you guess which academic majors are consistently among the top three most popular at West Point?  They are Economics, Mechanical Engineering and Management; all three vie for the top position each year.

Economics is the study of how society manages its scarce resources.  The Economics program at West Point includes required courses on the national and international economies, the decision-making processes of firms and individuals, and the application of economic principles to national security issues.  In addition, there are courses on international trade, comparative economic systems, developing economies, principles of finance and accounting, managerial economics, and financial institutions.  Each course emphasizes the development of principles which can be applied to help resolve important public policy issues.  The USMA Library has a new LibGuide to ECONOMICS that
identifies resources supporting research in this field.

Comparative Politics

Have you ever noticed how in world politics a particular “ism” might change the fate of millions of people, whether for better or for worse – or even catastrophically?  Think federalism, monarchism, socialism, communism, fascism, Stalinism and Nazism, for example.

Comparative Politics makes a study of how the various systems of governance and social organization shape the world’s nations and peoples.  Cadets pursuing the study of Comparative Politics have the opportunity to analyze the sources of stability or instability in political regimes, and to examine the conditions that promote either democratic or authoritarian rule in a number of diverse settings, ranging from Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, to Africa, as well as the United States.  Not only do students examine political institutions and policies, but they also explore the meanings and sources of change that may spring from the ballot box or the barrel of a rifle.  The USMA Library has a new LibGuide to COMPARATIVE POLITICS that identifies resources supporting research in this field.

Both Guides were developed by the Audiovisual and Social Sciences Liaison Librarian, Michael G. Arden.

USMA Library LibGuides – New Guides Published

LibGuides is an easy to use Content Management System utilized by many thousands of libraries worldwide. Librarians use it to curate knowledge and share information by creating online Guides on any topic, subject, course, or process.  The USMA Library currently has 54 published LibGuides in 16 subject categories.  The Audiovisual and Social Sciences Liaison Librarian, Michael G. Arden, recently published two new Guides, AMERICAN POLITICS and INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS which are aimed at students of SS202 and SS307 respectively, as well as students in upper level courses.  Both Guides highlight the library’s research tools that will help cadets achieve success in their academic research work.

Those Daring Young Men in Their Flying Machines!

selfridgeThe United States Armed Forces and graduates of the Military Academy have always been on the forefront of technology integration. Thomas Etholen Selfridge, born February 2nd 1882 in San Francisco, California exemplifies this sense of wonder and adventure.
Upon graduation from the Academy in June 1903, Selfridge served with the coast and field artillery. Returning to West Point in 1906, Selfridge began a serious study of the new field of aeronautics and discovered his true vocation. Through the auspices of astronomer and librarian Edward Singleton Holden, Selfridge spent the summer of 1907 in Nova Scotia working with Alexander Graham Bell. Lt. Selfridge flew Bell’s tetrahedral kite the “Cygnet” as well as the “White Wings and “June Bug” aero planes. These experiments were so successful that Selfridge was sent to Hammondsport, NY to assist Professor Bell in continued experiments through the winters of 1907 and 1908.
Selfridge was then transferred to Fot Meyer, Virginia as part of the “Signal Corps for Aeronautical Work” unit.  In Fort Meyer Selfridge worked with Captain Baldwin on the development of dirigibles and met Mr. Orville Wright, who with his brother had successfully flown a motor driven plane at Kitty Hawk, N.C. in 1903.
With dirigible experiments going so well the army selected Lieutenant Selfridge as one of the two officers to manage its new dirigible experimental station in Saint Joseph, Missouri. On September 17th, 1909, just prior to his planned departure, Thomas Selfridge realized one of his long held dreams—a heavier than air flight with Orville Wright. Selfridge and Wright took off at 6:14 p.m. into a four mile per hour wind. According to contemporary reports they circled the field four and one half times before a propeller blade detached. Wright and Selfridge were at an altitude of about 150 feet.  Wright turned off the motor and glided the plane down to 75 feet; they fell the remaining 75 feet. During the precipitous fall Selfridge “sustained severe cuts about the face and a fracture at the base of the skull”. Lieutenant Selfridge died of his injuries at 8:10 on   the evening of September 17th 1909, becoming the first air fatality of a mechanized flight.
A memorial to Thomas Selfridge, USMA 1903 stands in the West Point Cemetery as a monument to his tenacity, forward thinking and mankind’s everlasting dream of flight.

Contents contributed by Elaine McConnell, Rare Book Curator.  Photo courtesy of USMA Library Special Collections and Archives.

The First World War and Popular Cinema

A scene from "All Quiet on the Western Front" (1930)

A scene from “All Quiet on the Western Front” (1930)

World War I coincided with a young, rapidly developing film industry, and as belligerent governments aggressively utilized film to rally their public to the war effort, the foundation was set for the robust development of world film during the interwar period. As the publisher of The First World War and Popular Cinema: 1914 to the Present noted, “The Great War played an instrumental role in the development of cinema, so necessary was it to the mobilization efforts of the combatant nations. In turn, after the war, as memory began to fade, cinema continued to shape the war’s legacy and eventually to determine the ways in which all warfare is imagined.”

Classic films like All Quiet on the Western Front, Hell’s Angels, Grand Illusion, and Paths of Glory transport today’s audiences back to the bloody world of trench warfare and aerial dogfights, both of which characterize how we remember the war today. World War I is considerably underrepresented in the war film genre in terms of both feature films and documentaries. This is particularly true in comparison to the war it set the stage for, World War II. However, the USMA Library has a number of titles relating to the war that broke out 100 years ago that did so much to shape our modern world. Take a look at the films in this guide for some of the best in the genre.

The views expressed in this post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. No endorsement or recommendation of any specific products or services is intended or implied.

Contents contributed by Mike Arden, Audiovisual Librarian

Discover a Database – SciFinder

SciFinder scifinderis the leading research tool for chemists and researchers, providing the essential content and proven results scientists need to increase productivity and make faster breakthroughs. SciFinder includes information about many different types of substances, their synonyms, molecular formulas, ring analysis, structure diagrams, experimental and predicted property data. In addition, other topics that are covered are: proteomics, genomics, biochemistry, biochemical genetics and macromolecules. Or, you can search physical, inorganic, organic and analytical chemistry. You can research a topic, a chemical reaction or a reaction structure.

  • First-time users must register: SciFinder User Registration. After a quick registration, you should receive an email saying: “You have successfully completed the registration process. To sign in to SciFinder®, click the link below.”
  • TIP: Scifinder will “remember” you for two weeks, unless you LOGOFF. X-out instead of logging off.
  • Search tips for SciFinder:
  1. When researching a topic, it is usually best to search on a phrase, such as “methods of detecting drugs or hazardous materials.”
  2. To search a chemical structure you can draw a structure in the structure editor or import one from an external file. You can also search on a molecular formula to retrieve substances with molecular formulas matching the symbols in your query. You can retrieve substance references or reactions, specific to biological or other studies.
  3. Remember to save your searches and create an alert to “keep you posted,” on future substances with the same criteria.
  4. References cover both CAPlus and MEDLINE

Contents contributed by Manja Yirka, Continuing Resources Librarian

RS 100 Classes Complete Poker Runs in the USMA Library

Librarian Darrell Hankins helps Plebes learn to search the Library’s resources with our Scout! Search tool.

Librarian Darrell Hankins helps Plebes learn to search
the Library’s resources with our Scout! Search tool.

On 25 and 26 August, cadets enrolled in the Center for Enhanced Performance’s RS 100 course got a chance to spend some very active time in the Library, finding their way from one service point to another and learning about Library resources, services, and staff along the way. The Library Poker Runs are designed to get cadets familiar with the people here at the Library who can help them in their studies, and with the resources they can use to complete the assignments they’ll have throughout their time at West Point.

Rare Book Curator Elaine McConnell tells cadets about some of the unique resources in the Library’s Special Collections and Archives Division.

Rare Book Curator Elaine McConnell tells cadets about some of the unique resources in the Library’s Special Collections and Archives Division.

Cadets are given a checklist of locations in the Library (Circulation Desk, Reference Desk, Reserve Room, and Special Collections & Archives Reading Room) and are directed to complete a task at each checkpoint. The tasks help the plebes learn a multitude of research-related skills, such as how to search within our collections using Scout! – the Library’s discovery tool; how to renew books online; what to do when the Library doesn’t have an article or book they need (hint: Inter-Library Loan!); and the difference between primary and secondary sources. A highlight of the Poker Run is a visit to the Special Collections and Archives Reading Room, where this semester they got to see Custer’s demerits (all six pages of them!) and hand-drawn plans (dating back to the 1870s) for the construction of the railroad tunnel underneath the Plain.

Librarian Michael Arden advices cadets as they search for books and  journal articles using the Library website.

Librarian Michael Arden advices cadets as they search for books and journal articles using the Library website.

After completing each task, the cadets draw a card, and the cadet team with the best poker hand at the end of class wins a prize from their instructor. Almost 100 cadets participated in this round of Poker Runs, and judging from discussions with them at the end of class, a fun – and educational! – time was had by all.

Narrative by Laura Mosher; photos by Barbara Maroney