American River Ganges Search

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American River Ganges – Thomas Nast, 1875:

American River Ganges – Thomas Nast, 1875

What Do I Want to Find?:

Information about the artist (Thomas Nast). Information about the cartoon (American River Ganges). Information about historical events or attitudes relevant to our understanding of the cartoon. What Do I Want to Find?

First Stop, the Internet:

If used wisely and with common sense , the internet can be a valuable research tool. Before trusting an internet source, be sure of that source’s credentials. If you’re not confident using internet sources, you can use the databases available through the Clarion University library, or go old school and walk to a library. First Stop, the Internet

Next Stop, Databases:

While presenting biographical information about an artist is okay, if you want to move your site from “okay” to “good” you’ll also provide information about the themes and ideas that your artist commonly explored—the big picture about the artist. A good source for “deeper” information about an artist—in your case, the photographer—is the databases you can access through the Clarion University library These databases are not web sites; they are storage areas for digital copies of articles The articles frequently come from reviewed sources. That is, someone reads and approves an article before publishing it. That often is not the case with information from web sites. Next Stop, Databases

Art Abhors a Vacuum:

Artists do not create in a vacuum; they respond to and/or react against events and ideas occurring within the culture in which the artists live. Discussing the contexts of your photographs means explaining to your readers what events or ideas influenced the photographer at the time the photograph was taken. Art Abhors a Vacuum

Placing Your Photographs in a Context:

When thinking about how to place your photographs in a context, consider these possibilities: Gettysburg Dead – While minimal information about the battle itself can be helpful, what would be more useful is information about how this battle impacted the residents of Gettysburg, and/or how the battle impacted American thoughts about the Civil War. Italian Mother and Baby – Here consider information about immigrant life in New York City in the late 19 th – early 20 th centuries. Riis’s own book, How the Other Half Lives , can be very helpful here. (The book is available online.) Breaker Boys – Here consider information about child labor, especially in coal mines, in the late 19 th – early 20 th centuries. Migrant Mother – Here consider information about the Dust Bowl, and/or about the Okies from the Great Depression. Louisville Flood – Here consider information about the flood itself, particularly as it affected the citizens of Louisville. Bud Fields and His Family – Here investigate sharecropping. You can also explain to readers how this photograph was part of a book, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men . You would also then need to provide your readers with information about the book. Placing Your Photographs in a Context

Researching Nast and the Cartoon on the Internet:

Below you’ll find an embedded video in which I show you the results of an internet search for this artist and cartoon. Click on the box to begin the presentation. Researching Nast and the Cartoon on the Internet

Searching the Databases:

Below you’ll find a presentation on searching the Clarion University databases. I focus specifically on two: Academic Search Complete, and Proquest Direct. Searching the Databases

Placing Nast in a Context:

Placing Nast in a Context

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