Essay: Online history websites are one of the best resources to learn about American history. The interactivity and use of multimedia contents in these websites, not only allow viewer/user to easily concentrate on a particular piece of history but also better grasp the contents of the websites. Gohistory.org is one of such websites, which focuses on a particular piece of history. The website provides information about Martha Ballard, who was an American midwife and a healer.
Martha became well known when her diary, that she used as an accounting book and to keep her medical practitioner records, was used by famous historian and author Laurel Thatcher Ulrich to publish “A Midwife’s Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard based on her diary, 1785–1812”. The website serves to provide complete diary of Martha online in the form of images and multimedia content, and also provides additional information on important events in Martha’s life such as Man Midwife. The website cover the years 1785-1812 in great details as these are the years in which Martha compiled her diary, however, the website contain additional related information from years 1600 to 1999. The website contains detailed information about Martha’s life and events related to her as its intended audiences appear to be students to researchers interested in reading about the of Martha Ballard (DoHistory Website).
The DoHistory.org website was built by Film Study Center of Harvard University. Film Study Center (FSC) is one of most prestigious media institution in the United States which supports work for recording and interpreting the world contained in the images and sounds. Currently it has been acquired, hosted and maintained by the Center of History and New Media of George Mason University. The Center is famous for its use of digital technology in order to preserve history and has it work recognized with several major awards and grants for institutions such as American Historical Institution, The National Endowment for Humanities, The Library of Congress and the Department of Education of the US Government. Being a product such major institutions, the Dohistory website can be said to posses a lot of credibility (DoHistory Website). The website is funded by National Endowment for Humanities and Maine Humanities Council and the developers of the site have used a large number of sources including personal diaries of people, journal and newspaper articles as well as historical graphics and archived records for the contents, which makes the information contained in the website very accurate. The website does not present any point of view but rather serves as key resource which can be used to learn about history of Martha Mallard and comprehensively explains how history project similar to the case study of Martha Mallard done in this website can be accomplished. In the content of the website as well, while explaining important events in the life of Martha, the website authors do not take any side and present point of view of other historians (DoHistory Website).
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