This electronic resource is the scanned version of a revised second printing of an exhibition catalogue originally published in 1955 highlighting books that have been the subject of censure. As a response to the events taking place during the McCarthy era, the primary focus of the exhibition was on identifying books censored in England, Germany, Russia, France, Spain, and the United States.
Type of Material:
Digitalized exhibition catalogue.
Those interested in censorship will find the exhibition catalogue to be a good introduction to the topic and perhaps a resource for identifying primary materials.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
Promoting the library as an "open sanctuary" where free access to ideas and information is supported, readers are provided with a glimpse into the past as a means of exploring the various issues and concerns associated with intellectual freedom. Provides a history of European works that were censored by listing each work in the exhibit, a brief synopsis of the books content, and the cultural and political reasons for the censorship.
Target Student Population:
Any student researching censorship or intellectual freedom will find this exhibition to be a good introduction on these subjects. General public, undergraduates
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
This website is a reproduction of a 1955 exhibition catalog and provides detailed information on each printed resource, its author, and the historical content in which it was censored and destroyed. Some of the entries are accompanied by clear jpeg images of the books in the exhibition. The exhibition illustrates the role libraries can assume in promoting and preserving intellectual discourse.
The lack of a teacher's guide providing possible strategies for integrating this unique resource into curriculum serves to restrict its usefulness.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
As an exhibition catalogue, it demonstrates how history can inform and influence current events. However, as an online monograph this resource can be assigned to students as supplementary reading or used as a resource for term papers or classroom oral reports.
As previously stated the lack of a teacher's guide providing possible strategies for integrating the exhibition catalogue into curriculum restricts its usefulness.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Since this website simulates a print exhibition catalog from 1955 it is fitting that, although online, it reads like a printed resource. The table of contents is divided into the books countries of origin. This most likely matches the original print catalog and is a useful way to organize the material.
Information is presented in a linear and passive format with no hypertext links provided to direct readers to other sites and resources exploring the books selected for inclusion in the exhibit. A site map would be an added bonus, as well as an index list of the books alphabetized by title with a link to that books position in the catalog. The addition of these features would make navigation easier and would not detract from the original design.
Other Issues and Comments:
This websites strength is that it makes freely available a type of document that is not often accessible to high schoolers and undergraduates: the exhibition catalog. The rich variety of books and the detailed historical information make this a strong reference and learning tool.
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