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Oxford English Dictionary

(Dictionaries, English, Reference, Research Databases) Permanent link

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) Online web site has been completely revamped. You'll find it quite different from the old site in many ways (new design, new functionality, etc.), but with a strong element of continuity in the form of the editorial content.

The site has been tilted more towards the English language than towards the dictionary as an end in itself. Search results move from simple lists to visualizations/timelines. They can also be filtered according to a number of categories, allowing you to start off with big numbers (e.g. all English words derived from Italian), and reduce them by steps down to small, significant subsets (e.g. all English words derived from Italian from the field of Music which are first recorded in English in the 18th century). That's 167 words, starting with adagio.

Other new features include pages (updated each quarter from the dictionary data) on the OED's most-cited authors and texts, plus links to other online resources—such as the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography—offering more on those who've shaped the language. There's also an ‘Aspects of English’ section, a series of descriptive articles on language, past and present, which will be updated regularly.

Perhaps the most important new feature involves the Historical Thesaurus to the OED, published in book form in 2009. The entire text is now integrated with the OED Online, so that you can follow semantic links throughout the dictionary. Go to the OED's entry for utopia, for example, and follow the Thesaurus links to the entries for heaven (Old English), Cockaigne (c1305), El Dorado (1596), nonesuch (a1618), Fiddler's Green (1825), never-never land (1900), the Big Rock Candy Mountain (1917), etc. ‘Utopia’ means different things to different people!

As ever, the core of the dictionary is its content. But with the new web site this content is opened up to an extent we couldn't imagine ten years ago when the OED first went online.

New Database

(History, Library Research , Library Updates, Research Databases) Permanent link
European Views of the Americas: 1493 - 1750

A valuable index for libraries, scholars and individuals interested in European works that relate to the Americas. This database contains more than 32,000 entries and is a comprehensive guide to printed records about the Americas written in Europe before 1750.

Thanks Giving on Thanksgiving

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Three times in the Psalms we read  to come before the Lord with thanksgiving.

Psalm 69:30 "I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving."
Psalm 95:2 "Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song."
Psalm 100:4 "Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name" (NIV).

George Washington inaugurated the first Thanksgiving day, November 26, 1789, under the new Constitution.  Abraham Lincoln made it an official national holiday in 1863 on the fourth Thursday of November.

What follows is George Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation from October 3, 1789.

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor-- and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be-- That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks--for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation--for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war--for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed--for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted--for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions-- to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually--to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed--to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord--To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us--and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go: Washington

For more about our national documents for Thanksgiving Day, go to the National Archives Celebrates Thanksgiving with a collection of presidential proclamations, documents and photographs.

Website of the Week - Chaplains under Fire

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In honor of Veteran's Day and to acknowledge the chaplaincy program of the Seminary, here is a website about Military Chaplains, called Chaplains Under Fire.  There is a lot of video, documents, and interviews as they explore the roll chaplains have in the military, which is controversial issue for some: establishment vs. free exercise of religion.

To all our students who are active military, reservist, or retired, "Thank you for your Service."

This week's feature - Downloadable Audio Books

(Audio Books, New Books, Research Databases) Permanent link

With one of our recent eBook purchases, we also were able to get 19 eAudio books.  As you know, we have had audio books on CD for several years now.  These are the same, but different.

Accessing eAudio books.  You can get to the complete list from NetLibrary  (under Research Databases). 

  1. When you select an eAudiobook to download, if you have not yet done so, you will need to create an account on NetLibrary.
  2. Select a title, click Download this eAudiobook & then Manual Downloadfrom website to My Computer.
  3. You can download the eAudiobook to your computer (save in WMA or iTunes).
  4. Check out times are 21 days (you can't return them early, they just expire and are no longer playable).

Titles include:

 Book Cover
Absolute Surrender
by Murray, Andrew. 

 Book Cover
Attributes of God. Volume 1, A Journey Into the Father's Heart
by Tozer, A. W.

 Book Cover
Grief Observed

by Lewis, C. S.

 Book Cover
Home Tonight: Further Reflections on the Parable of the Prodigal Son
by Nouwen, Henri J. M.

 Book Cover
Evangelical Theology: an Introduction
by Barth, Karl.

Book Cover
Getting to Know Jesus
by MacDonald, George. 

 Book Cover
by Mood y, Dwight Lyman.

Book Cover
Practice of the Presence of God: Being Conversations and Letters of Nicholas Hermann of Lorraine
by Lawrence.


1,000 Bookmarks on Delicious

(Library Updates, Websites) Permanent link

Well, we've done it.  One thousand websites have been added & tagged on the social bookmarking site Delicious.

I add websites to Delicious using student and faculty recommendations, reviews in journals, etc., & pure serendipity.

Some of my favorite sites are:

American Memory  -- from Library of Congress.

Making of America  -- a digital library of primary sources in American social history primarily from the antebellum period through reconstruction

Christian Classics Ethereal Library  -- A digital library of hundreds of classic Christian books selected for edification and education.

Check out, an internet news portal that provides the latest news on science, or other Science websites.


This week's feature - OAIster and open access digitized sources

(Library Research , Research Databases) Permanent link

I just got a new phone last week and soon realized that there are a whole suite of applications and widgets that I am going to have to investigate if I am going to use more than 20% of its capabilities.  It can just do so many things.

Today's libraries are like the new phones.  They fulfull their traditional roles and then add more.

Each week I am going to feature a different aspect of our library: databases, websites, techniques for research -- a "more" that you might find useful.

Today's featured resources is: OAIster.

It is described as "A union catalog of more than 19 million records representing digital resources from more than 1,000 contributors."  What this means is that it is a specialized tool free to locate Open Access digitized books, dissertations, theses, reports, papers, etc.

This subset of Worldcat allows you to search the digital collections on the internet for freely accessible full-text materials on your research topic.  This takes you beyond the traditional book, article, website citations in your bibliography/works cited lists and into some interesting sources.

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