By now you are probably aware of the protests taking place in Kyiv, Ukraine. However, it can be difficult to know where to look for more in-depth information. I’ve put together some sources that will help you gain a better understanding of Ukraine (not “The Ukraine”… after gaining independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic became simply, Ukraine. ) and the current situation. As we are the government information department, most of these are government sources.
My favorite source for gaining background information about a country is the CIA World Factbook. The entry for Ukraine has sections on history, the political structure, demographics, geography, and more. You can even listen to the Ukrainian national anthem! It’s also a great place to go for public domain maps.
The Department of State has a website on Ukraine that includes press releases, official remarks, and fact sheets:
Another good place to look for information is the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine. They link to relevant videos, travel warnings, and information for Americans who may be traveling or living in Ukraine. As they are on the ground in Kyiv, this is a good place to look for up to date information.
Geoffrey Pyatt, The U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, has been tweeting about the situation. You can follow him on Twitter at @GeoffPyatt. Ambassador Pyatt gave an interview with CNN recently as well. You can read the transcript on HumanRights.gov
For more background and information about Ukraine, check out the Ukrainian collection at the Library of Congress.
Finally, there have been some pretty good pieces from commercial news sources that provide an overview of the situation.
Additionally, IU subscribes to Access UN, a database that provides access to current and past United Nations publications. An authorized IU user ID is required.
Here in the Gov Docs and maps department we have lots and lots of maps of Ukraine, including but certainly not limited to… a Map of Ukraine and Street Map of Central Kiev
Finally, if you have any questions about this post, or anything else, do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted in History, In the News, International, Maps, Resource
Tagged EU, euromaidan, European Union, Protest, riot, Russia, Ukraine
Know your official climate sources!
We are all accustomed to watching the Weather Channel and checking out the weather on our workstations, iPads, and Cell Phones, BUT there are wonderful official sources of weather/climate information and historic data by weather station.
- Perhaps my favorite for data since the 1800 by all weather stations in the U.S. is the National Climatic Data Center, i.e. http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/ They charge for data but it is free for .edu’s so university students, faculty, and staff can research and pull down large sets of data from temperatures, wind speeds, precipitation, storms, etc.
- Just for basic weather including local weather forecasts and looping radar, etc. go to http://radar.weather.gov/ It’s easy because you can enter your zip code and it brings up all sorts of observations you can explore.
- For international weather try the World Meteorological Organization www.wmo.int specifically the WCDMP website (World Climate Data and Monitoring Programme. It also includes links to the IPCC assessment reports on Climate Change.
DON’T WAIT FOR THE MOVIE! We have the primary story of the Monuments Men.
Coming in February to a theatre near you is “The Monuments Men”, a dramatization of a true-life World War II military unit made up of art historians and curators. They were dropped into occupied territory during the frenzied final moments of World War II to rescue and save, if possible, works of arts and other cultural artifacts. Why wait for the movie? The IUB Libraries holds the actual records of this group on microfilm (Records relating to monuments, museums, libraries, archives, and fine arts of the Cultural Affairs Branch, OMGUS, 1946-1949 [microform]. Victorino, Barbara. DD 257.4 .M44 2008 Guide) which is housed in the Wells Library, East Tower, 2nd Floor. The guide states the following about the 14 reels of microfilm: “From November 25, 1944 through October 14, 1945, the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives (MFAA) function was placed in the MFAA Branch of the Reparation, Deliveries and Restitution Division of the U.S. Group Control Countil, Germany. The siezed property was turned over to the custody of the Office of Miliatry Government, U.s Zone (Germany) [OMGUS]…”
The reel guide includes lists such as “Berlin Museum Collections Taken to Russia”, “Breman Staatsarchiv – Photographs”, “Hesse Archives and Libraries – Photographs” “Martin von Wagner Museum: Missing Paintings and Sculptures”.
Descriptions of some of this type of military action during/following WWII are also described in the Defense Department Series: The Army in World War II. Print copies available in ET2 (D114.7: SuDocs Reference).
How to find an old diplomat or start research U.S. Foreign relations:
Suppose you are researching foreign relations with Argentina in the 1930’s or with Poland in the 1960s and you’d like to know who the Ambassadors from those countries were at the time…might there be oral histories or personal papers or letters that could add to your research?
Probably because it was little (measuring 4” x 5”) and quite cute on the shelves I always enjoyed looking at the Diplomatic List published by the Department of State. It is still issued by DOS but now on their website with their archive dating to 1993 … Not nearly so cute.
This publication covers foreign missions (embassies, interest sections) in the United States. It contains the names of members of the diplomatic staffs of these missions and their spouses. Members of the diplomatic staff are the members of the staff of the mission having diplomatic rank. These persons, with the exception of those identified by asterisks, enjoy full immunity under provisions of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. The Diplomatic List is prepared by the Office of Protocol.
IUB Libraries own the older issues which are bound and shelved in the Auxiliary Library Facility. You can request them through IUCAT. Many of the years have been digitized and are available through the HathiTrust.
BUT what if instead you are wanting to know who from the United States represented our nation in Argentina and/or Poland? The U.S. Department of State’s Chiefs of Mission lists those on their website since 2005, but for previous years, consult Principal Officers of the Department of State and United States chiefs of mission, 1778-1990. [Washington, DC]: The Department: 1991] (Print copy in ALF S 1.2:OF 2/1778-990: Request This ALF Item)
What about those papers? Those letters? Oral Histories? Start with Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS). The print volume is in the Wells Library East Tower 2 (S1.1:year) or online at http://uwdc.library.wisc.edu/collections/FRUS. This series is kind of an annual report of the major diplomatic affairs of the United States, a selective collection of letters, papers, and telegrams from the various diplomatic posts around the world. It is published 20-30 years after the time period covered which allows the State Department to conclude what is noteworthy enough to include. [Other, more comprehensive records are issued through archival microfilm, many of which are owned at IU. Check IUCAT or consult reference staff.]
A great source for oral histories related to foreign affairs is Frontline Diplomacy: Foreign Affairs Oral History Collection of the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training, an online product from the Library of Congress. These are interview transcripts from the oral history archives of the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training (ADST). http://www.libraries.iub.edu/scripts/countResources.php?resourceId=31413417. For other oral histories and personal papers of diplomats, consult reference staff or email us at email@example.com
Posted in Federal, International, Research Guide, Resource
Tagged Ambassador, archives, Department of State, diplomacy, embassy, Foreign Relations, Government Publication, International Affairs, International Relations, oral history, personal papers, State Department
Remember 50 years ago – 1964:
A few other important events to explore:
- The International Year of Crystallography 2014 (IYCr2014) commemorates not only the centennial of X-ray diffraction, which allowed the detailed study of crystalline material, but also the 400th anniversary of Kepler’s observation in 1611 of the symmetrical form of ice crystals, which began the wider study of the role of symmetry in matter. The UN adopted the resolution that 2014 should be the International Year of Crystallography at its Sixty-Sixth General Assembly on 3 July 2012. http://www.iycr2014.org/
- The International Year of Family Farming is an initiative promoted by the World Rural Forum. It was declared by the UN General Assembly and is sponsored by the UN Food and Agricultural Organization among others. The aim is to stimulate active policies for sustainable development of Agricultural systems based on farmer families, cooperatives, and indigenous groups. See: http://www.familyfarmingcampaign.net/
- The UN Conference on Small Island Developing States will focus the world’s attention on a group of countries that remain a special case for sustainable development in view of their unique and particular vulnerabilities. http://www.sids2014.org/
- IWM (Imperial War Museums) is leading the First World War Centenary Partnership, a network of local, regional, national and international cultural and educational organizations. http://www.1914.org/about/research-resources/
Every day we receive documents through our depository programs: federal, Indiana, United Nations, and the European Union. These documents are then forwarded to the Libraries’ Technical Services Department for processing into our collections and then they are sent to the ALF. The UN documents are quite amazing and it made me realize that today’s researcher/student miss seeing these items and therefore do not have an awareness of their existence. Yes most of them are on the numerous UN and subsidiary websites or bibliographically identified in WorldCat or IUCAT but they would only be found if someone was “searching” for them.
Isn’t awareness of the literature part of being an “information literate” individual? Students need to absorb all the information riches we own at Indiana University…not just what is needed for the paper or coursework due today. Researchers/Students will not be made aware of these information sources on their iPhones or told about them on the late night news. I urge students to keep their eyes open as they walk to their favorite study location, inquire with professors about resources that might be relevant to their studies, and browse new library resource pages.
Here are a few examples:
UNESCO publishes beautiful materials on various world heritage resources but not all are available online. FAO (the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN) publishes numerous overviews but also technical reports on various countries and regions.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is probably best known for its worldwide health statistics but they also publish extensive studies and reviews about health and safety issues for countries, regions and the world.
I hate the fact that I am one of the few people that see and appreciate these reports and studies, fearing that students and researchers have no inkling that such reports even exist.
I browse some of the periodicals we receive from the U.S. Government whenever they come in. They are filled with excellent footnotes, images (like all the State Department guys from the early 1900’s involved with relations with Mexico), and interesting archival sources.
So when in doubt, always browse or search the internet but also ask. There are staff here that do know these resources exist and the wide scope of coverage they entail.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
It’s that time of year again! GIS Day is celebrated every year in November to highlight the work being done by GIS (Geographic Information Systems) professionals and students AND to educate people about uses for GIS. Stop by the lobby of the Wells Library on Wednesday, November 20th from 10 A.M.-3:30 P.M. to visit various information booths, learn about GIS, and get some sweet geographic SWAG. The Keynote speech will begin at 4 P.M. This year, Sara C. Pryor will be giving the keynote speech titled, “The Climate Science Puzzle…”
Visit http://gisday.indiana.edu/ for more information about events during GIS Day, and be sure to stop by! It’s always a fun time. Some examples of participants are: ESRI, The U.S. Geological Survey, UITS, Hoosier National Forest, multiple IU academic departments, and the Indiana Geological Survey.
The Government Information, Maps, & Microforms Department will also be represented, with our display on Mapping Literature: Indiana Authors.
Relief efforts in the Philippines are still ongoing in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda. Several entities have produced good maps showing the path of the typhoon, affected areas, and relief efforts.
The BBC has a good site, and the New York Times wrote an article on mapping the typhoon.
One of the more interesting developments, as far as maps goes, is the crowdsourced effort to map the area. The Red Cross is working with Open Street Map to provide detailed, open source maps of the areas hit by the typhoon. The Atlantic has an excellent article that details the process. Basically, volunteers use Open Street Map and MapBox to provide information about where buildings used to be, the path of the storm, and levels of destruction. Robinson Meyer of The Atlantic explains, “Since Saturday, more than 400 volunteers have made nearly three quarters of a million additions to a free, online map of areas in and around the Philippines. Those additions reflect the land before the storm, but they will help Red Cross workers and volunteers make critical decisions after it about where to send food, water, and supplies.”
Volunteers are also using Twitter to geotag crisis-related tweets and photos. This process is called, Micromapping. For more information, see this article from The Guardian: Social media, crisis mapping and the new frontier in disaster response. Find out how you can join the effort at the Micromapping website: http://micromappers.wordpress.com/
For more information on the typhoon, please see the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and ReliefWeb.
See Also: NOAA’s Pacific hurricane/typhoon tracking chart here in ET2