Archive by Author | Sarah

Free Online Learning

Submitted by Earnest at Gaston Park:

From the website: “For the past decade, the program has helped millions around the world learn the essential skills they need to live and work in the 21st century. From Microsoft Office and email to reading, math, and more, offers 125 tutorials, including more than 1,100 lessons, videos, and interactives, completely free. We believe there’s freedom in the ability to learn what you want, when you want, regardless of income or circumstances. We offer 125 tutorials on the subjects you need to continue your education—or get it started. Everything at is completely free. There’s no catch and no gotchas.”

Free Certificate Courses

From Open Culture, a list of free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), with most offering certificates.

Search the Historical Newspaper Archives

Elephind is a search engine for digitized historical newspapers.  Currently, users are able to search 14 different source libraries (including the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America project), 1000+ titles, and over 1 million newspapers.  Papers range in date from 1803 to 2012, so genealogists might find it especially helpful.

Founders Online

“The National Archives, through its National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), has entered into a cooperative agreement with The University of Virginia Press to create this site and make freely available online the historical documents of the Founders of the United States of America.

Through this website, you will be able to read and search through thousands of records from George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison and see firsthand the growth of democracy and the birth of the Republic.”


A database of “useful biological numbers,” complete with a search engine and full citations.  If you need to know how many skin cells the human body has or the estimated number of insects on the Earth at a given moment, then this resource has what you need.

OATD: Open Access Theses and Dissertations

An index to over 1.5 million theses and dissertations from over 600 institutions around the world. Searchable by keyword.

College Scorecard

From the White House Blog:  “The interactive College Scorecard gives students and families five key pieces of data about a college: costs, graduation rate, loan default rate, average amount borrowed, and employment.”  Users can search by name, location, type of college, area of interest or other popular criteria.

International Architecture Database

From the website: “This database includes information over more than 44000 built and unrealized projects from various architects and planners. The architecture of the 20th century is the main theme of this database.

It’s possible to look for a special project via an architect, town or keyword with the indices or by using a query form. For most entries you get the name, address, keywords and information about further literature. Some entries include images, comments, links to other Websites or internal links.”

Author Name Pronunciation Guide

Ever love a book but you don’t want to tell people about it because you’re not sure how to pronounce the author’s name?  Use this site to listen to recordings of authors speaking and explaining their own names.

Guide to State and Local Census Geography

Click on a state name at the bottom of the page to view facts, statistics and key geographic concepts as they relate to census reporting.  This will certainly come in handy as the full 2010 Census data is released.

Festival Outlook

Festival Outlook is an online database of music festivals and concerts from around the world.  Search by festival name, location, lineup (artist or band) or date.  Entries provide known festival information and links to official websites.

Historical Oil Spill Information

From NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration, this site provides links to information on particular oil spills in the past, as well as composite news articles on topics such as “10 Famous Spills” and “World’s Largest Oil Rig Sinks.”  For general and statistical information, follow the links to “Historical Data” and “Historical Incidents Search Page.”  Students might be interested in the photo database, which includes hundreds of images.

ThinkFree Online

For our web-savvy customers who don’t have a flash drive when they need one: “With ThinkFree Online, interested parties won’t have to fuss around with carrying flash drives or worrying about whether they have a certain important file handy lodged away in their email. The ThinkFree Online service provides a free web office suite with 1GB of online storage. Visitors can use the program to store documents, and they can also edit and manipulate documents without opening it in a separate program. Visitors will need to sign up for an account here on the site, and this version is compatible with all operating systems.”

>From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2010.

The Scale of the Universe

This site provides a great visual demonstration of scale, from quantum foam and strings to the whole of the universe.

Make Your Own Timeline

“If you’re looking to create a visually compelling and interactive timeline with little fuss, Dipity might be worth a look. With Dipity, visitors can create their own timeline, and populate it with photos, video clips, text, and other items. The mission of Dipity is ‘to organize the web’s content by date and time’, and it is well suited for use by journalists, government organizations, teachers, and museums, among others. Visitors will need to create an account to get started, but the basic version remains free. Dipity is compatible with all operating systems.”

>From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2010.