American History Video Collection added

July 22, 2009

Briggs Library was the lucky winner of a free subscription to the American History in Video collection from Alexander Street Press. The free subscription is for one year so we will have this collection through June 2010. We encourage everyone who has an interest in history or in watching videos to take a look. All you need is a computer and internet access (the faster the access, the better). According to Alexander Street Press there are more than 1470 titles in the collection. Content comes from commercial and governmental newsreels, archival footage, public affairs footage, and important documentaries.

Examples of videos available in this collection include a United News Release video from 1942 about American bombers taking off and landing from a secret Australian air base (as an Australian American, I found this particularly interesting); a documentary on Amelia Earhart including footage of her from the History Channel; and PBS’ Summer of Love documentary. There is something for everyone so take advantage of the collection now!

This database is linked in our Articles and Databases List under American History Video or click here.

~Elizabeth Fox, Digital Information Services Librarian


June 25, 2009

Stephen Wolfram, developer of Mathematica, has designed a new Web tool called Wolfram│Alpha.  Although its interface looks like a search engine, Wolfram│Alpha is actually a computational knowledge engine.  Search engines, like Google, search the Web and list links as results.   Wolfram│Alpha produces results by making computations from its own knowledge base. 

Clicking on the sample topics links will give you ideas of how to use this tool in areas like mathematics, engineering, dates & times, money & finance, and unit & measures.  You can enter math problems, ask for conversions, compare stocks, produce a world map with life expectancies, assess the per capita income of Brooking County, etc.  Wolfram│Alpha has a blog, a community site, and a quick video overview to help users get started.

The producers of Wolfram│Alpha plan to expand its capacities in the future.  Their ambitious “long-term goal is to make all systematic knowledge immediately computable and accessible to anyone.”  They also see opportunities to develop other forms of their product—to provide professional and corporate applications, to work with an organization’s internal data, and to work with mobile platforms. 

If you have any questions about research please contact a SDSU librarian.  You can contact us in-person at the Information Desk, send an e-mail, a text message, or set up an appointment

 Linda Kott
Information Services Librarian

Online Library of Liberty

March 25, 2009


Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.
–Thomas Jefferson


The Online Library of Liberty (OLL) is an excellent source of information on personal liberty, constitutional government, and the free market.  Liberty Fund, Inc., a non-profit foundation, sponsors the Web site to provide resources in these areas free of charge to the public.


The OLL site consists of two sections—The Library which contains over 1,000 classic books about liberty and The Forum which contains educational material about the books and authors. 


Most of The Library’s books are available in three formats:  a facsimile PDF version which allows users to see scans of the original text, a HTML version with a linked table of contents, and a downloadable PDF E-Book version.  Authors featured in the collection include Hippocrates, Plato, Saint Bede, Euclid, Alex de Tocqueville, Sir Francis Bacon, Immanuel Kant, Thomas Robert Malthus, Charles Darwin, and many more.  The Library offers browsing and searching options, including full-text searching.


The Forum provides information and discussion about the books included in The Library, their authors, and their ideas.  Educational material found in The Forum includes bibliographies, biographies, essays, images, user-created reading lists, timelines, and teaching resources.  Users may also download conversations on individual liberty in MP3 format and sign up for RSS feeds for alerts about new additions to The Library.


In addition to providing information online, the OLL offers users a free DVD.  Request a copy of the 2009 edition of the “Portable Library of Liberty” on the OLL Web site.  The DVD contains over 900 titles from the OLL in E-Book PDF format and 36 hours of MP3 audio.


More information on research in Political Science, Philosophy, Economics and other subjects consult H. M. Briggs Library Topic Guides pages.


Linda Kott

Information Services Librarian

Linking to SDSU Library resources in Google Scholar

January 28, 2009

Google, the world’s most heavily used search engine, also has other products available besides the basic search. Google Scholar is a useful tool for locating journals and other scholarly sources. The ease of use and similarity to basic Google attract users to this resource. Now it is possible to check our library holding information in Google Scholar. Google Scholar crawls our library holding information.

For on-campus users:

Go to Google Scholar website ( and do a search, additional links called “Find it@SDSU” are now available. For journal articles, clicking on these links will provide access on your computer to articles included in our e-journal holdings or find the library has a subscription in paper.

For off-campus users, you need to take additional steps:

• Click on the ‘Scholar Preferences’ on the Google Scholar homepage.
• Type “sdsu” in the search box behind Library Links.
• Click on ‘Find Library’
• Select ‘South Dakota State University – Find it@SDSU’ as one of the libraries that you wish to appear on Scholar results screens.
• Click on ‘Save Preferences’ at the bottom of the webpage.

When you click on a link you will be asked for your username and password just as if you where accessing the journal via the library’s Magazine and Journal List.

Please use the “Find it@SDSU” links when using Google Scholar. Our Integrated Systems Librarian, Fei Xu has been working on implementing Google Scholar links to SDSU library holdings and would appreciate feedback or questions about the links.

Mary Caspers-Graper, Head of Technical Services

Flickr on by the Library

April 9, 2008

HM Briggs Library now has a presence on Flickr, an online photo management and sharing application. We plan to use this cool piece of technology to promote our services and materials to the campus and community, and to network and collaborate with other libraries and library professionals. It’s also a great way for members of our distance community (distance students and faculty) to get to know the ‘visual’ aspect of the library and to see our friendly, smiling faces. We hope you’ll stop by and add us as a contact on Flickr. And who knows, someday when you’re far away from SDSU, perhaps you’ll find a small joy in knowing you can be “in” the library any time you please.

Check it out:

The place to be, HMB!

Laura M Wight, Reference Librarian