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February 26, 2010


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I personally find Wikipedia and related sites to be a very useful tool for "presearch". When I have no prior information about a particular topic, or no idea where to start with research, I'll often look it up on Wikipedia, skim the article to get some basic information in my head, and then check out the references section at the bottom of the article. Usually the references contain information about books, scholarly articles, or other juried publications related to the subject, and I can then use those references to kick start my search.

A lot of the information on the internet in general is potentially unreliable or just plain wrong, but even inaccurate or otherwise unhelpful websites can sometimes point you to useful (and accurate!) sources of information.

Oh, and I am a BIG fan of the Met's art history timeline. It's got a ton of information and is useful for academic research as well as personal curiosity.

FIDM Museum

Kat, I think your approach to Wikipedia is very sensible. It can sometimes be a helpful resource when you're first beginning to gather information about a topic. Problems emerge when people treat it as a well-vetted source. Or their only source!

Shelly Foote

Here is another museum website with about 70 items from the collections with descriptions and background history. http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/costume/fullindex.cfm


FIDM Museum

Hi Shelly,

Thanks for the link! I especially like that they've included some of the donor information with the catalog descriptions. I'm looking forward to spending some more time exploring.

It's great to see so many museums making their collections available online!

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