Ask Caesar arrives in the reading room

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 22 months since the start of our Online Catalog Project. We’ve been working hard to catalog the library’s maps, manuscripts, photographs, rare books, pamphlets and periodicals so that researchers all over the world can visit Ask Caesar and discover what great resources we have. Curator of Objects Jennifer Potts also continues to add objects to our Objects catalog, making collections at DHS more accessible than ever. Each day we’re adding more records, and it’s been very exciting to watch our catalogs grow.

We reached another milestone in the project this week with the installation of our first public computer. Whereas formerly our physical card catalog was the main entry point to our collections, researchers visiting the library can now access Ask Caesar online and take advantage of the tremendous work that has gone into building our fantastic catalogs.

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New Ask Caesar computer in the library.

We ultimately plan to have two computers available for public use, with access restricted to Ask Caesar to limit wait times on busy research days. We also provide wireless internet so that researchers can bring their own computers for more extensive online research.

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First time visitors to Ask Caesar should note that the catalog consists of three parts: Library, Archives, and Objects. If you’re searching for a book, map, periodical, or any other published work, you should visit the Library catalog. Manuscripts and photographs can be located in the Archives catalog, and museum objects are in the Objects catalog.

Our Archives catalog recently underwent a face-lift when we migrated to the SKCA platform, making the discovery of new materials easier than ever. You can check out our Hot Topics and Newly Acquired Materials, or browse by subject to explore topics that interest you. We’re looking in to bringing these changes to our Library catalog soon, so check back often for exciting changes.

You can visit Ask Caesar from home at http://www.dehistory.org/AskCaesar.htm, or stop in to our research library and we’ll be happy to get you started.

– Joelen


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