Vietnam Center & Archive News and Updates

Monday, December 7, 2009

New Look for the Vietnam Center and Archive Website

The Vietnam Center and Archive website has a new look.  The new version of our website features our new logo (designed by Misty Pollard of Texas Tech University’s Creative Services), colors inspired by the Texas Tech University Identity Guidelines, and numerous images from our archival collections.  In an effort to improve usablility of our site, we have added some new pages (such as online exhibits, subject guides, follow the VNCA, and information for researching onsite or online, among others), and reorganized some existing pages and locations.  Many of our most popular sections of the site, including the Virtual Archive and the Oral History Project, have the same URLs as before.  If you are unable to find the page you are looking for, try our Site Map.

(If you are a regular visitor to our website, the first time you visit the site, pages may look a little odd.  If this happens, it is because your browser is attempting to load an old stylesheet.  To correct this, hit the reload button in your browser, or hit F5 on your keyboard)

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us at any time.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

New Agent Orange Subject Guide

To assist researchers studying the topic of agent orange during and after the Vietnam War, the Vietnam Center and Archive has produced a new subject guide highlighting agent orange related resources in both our digital and physical collections. The subject guide is divided by media type and subcategory, and includes links to the digital objects when available. This is the first in a series of subject guides that we will produce over the next year.

Agent Orange Subject Guide – http://www.vietnam.ttu.edu/vietnamarchive/resources/agentorange/index.php

Monday, December 8, 2008

Vietnam Center & Archive Website, including Virtual Vietnam Archive, Unavailability

On December 16th thru 18th, the website of the Vietnam Center and Archive will experience periods of unavailability between the hours of 8am-5pm (-06:00 GMT). During this time we will be performing maintenance on existing systems and installing new equipment. While the website will be available during portions of these days, it will become unavailable without warning. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at 806-742-9010 or vawebmaster@ttu.edu.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Changes to the Virtual Vietnam Archive

To help make the Virtual Vietnam Archive more user-friendly, we have made a few minor changes to the Browse Search Results pages. These changes are mostly cosmetic, serving to make the page look a little more streamlined.

The most significant change involves the “More Information” link, which takes users to another view of the record that includes more detailed information about that item. Previously, this link was located on the right side of each record (to the right of the Item Number). It is now located above each record as a new “tab”.

A new tab has also been added, titled “Record Linking”. This tab will take users to a page with a URL for that individual item record. Within the Virtual Vietnam Archive, users are not able to bookmark records, or email links, due to licensing limitations. This new URL can be copied and pasted to be used for bookmarks, emailing, adding as links to other websites, etc.

If you have any questions about any of these features, or about the Virtual Archive in general, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 806-742-9010 or vietnamarchive@ttu.edu.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

What does that little red sign mean?

Researchers familiar with our Virtual Vietnam Archive have probably seen their fair share of the “Ghostbusters” like sign above and many have probably wondered what that sign really means.

The red sign means that a document is not available online. Why is it not available some might ask? There are two reasons for seeing the dreaded red sign. One, the document is copyrighted. Due to the stipulations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, copyrighted documents can be digitized as a form of preservation, but can not be redistributed in that format. This stipulation means that while we can scan the document to PDF or electronic form, we can not redistribute the electronic version over the internet or by burning it to a CD and giving it to someone else. Providing electronic versions of copyrighted documents to a third party constitutes a violation of the copyright law.

The second reason for seeing the little red sign is that the material in question has not been digitized yet. Many items are difficult and time consuming to digitize, video and microfilm are primary examples, or may be too fragile to digitize. Because these materials take so long to digitize, we create documents for them in the virtual archive so they are accessible via reference request.

The real issue out of all the red sign business is how do I get a copy of those materials? For paper documents you can request a copy be mailed to you. Send us a Reference Request from our web page with a list of the item numbers and item titles and we will make photocopies of the documents and mail them to your home. For videos and photographs we can make copies of the materials, but only if they are not copyrighted. If the videos and photos are copyrighted you will have to order copies of them from the copyright owner. Reproduction and postage fees do apply for reproduction requests. See our price list for the current charges.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Random Image Page

The Vietnam Archive has added a new feature to our website – a Random Image page. This new page will load an image from our holdings of over 100,000 digitzed photographs, slides, and negatives, and you can refresh the page to see a new image.

Additionally, this Vietnam Archive Random Image page is available as a Google Gadget. You can add the gadget using this gadget url: href=”http://hosting.gmodules.com/ig/gadgets/file/108667873740680159525/vncaimage.xml, or using the button below. You can also add the gadget to your own webpage using this interface, which will allow you to customize the width, height, and border color of the gadget. If you do this, please note that all images displayed through this gadget are property of the Vietnam Center and Archive at Texas Tech University, and this should be noted on your page.

Add to Google

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ways to Access Digitized Materials, Part III

This is the conclusion of a three part series on ways to access the digitized materials of the Vietnam Archive without using the Virtual Vietnam Archive search page (see Part I and Part II).

Other methods to access digital materials include our Teachers Resources Web, which, under the Subject Searches section, includes links to digital materials on a variety of subjects, including historical figures and equipment. These subject searches are setup for Primary, Secondary, and College level users.

We also have a Resources by Topic section of our site that contains links to bibliographies on a variety of subjects related to Vietnam and the Vietnam War. Some of these bibliographies include links to subject searches on the topic, or oral histories or collection finding aids related to the subject. We are currently working on expanding the section of our site with new subject guides.

Finally, for researchers interested in the conferences and symposia offered by the Vietnam Center, pages have been created providing links to the videos of each conference (when available). These links can be found on the Past Conferences, Symposia, and Events page.

We are always striving to make our site as useful and user-friendly as possible. If you have any suggestions or requests, please feel free to email us at vawebmaster@ttu.edu, or use on online survey.
Monday, June 23, 2008

Ways to Access Digitized Materials, Part II

Last week, I started a post on Ways to Access the Digitzed Materials of the Vietnam Archive. This is a continuation of that series.

The newest method we have added to our site is through our new RSS Feed (see earlier posting of June 11, 2008). This feed will allow users to view the previous day’s newly added records, or records that were updated with new information. A link to the RSS Feed can be found on our homepage.

If you are interested in maps, there is a search page that exclusively searches our map collection. This page functions in much the same way as the Virtual Vietnam Archive search page (through which maps can also be accessed), but also includes additional search features such as latitude/longitude, country, and scaled. Links to gazetteers are provided to assist researchers in determining coordinates for towns or villages. There is also a “Navigate the Country” section that allows users to click through a map of North or South Vietnam to the province level, and see the individual 1:50000 AMS maps for that province. These maps are all linked together within the records as well, so users can navigate from map to map without returning to the search page. This linking can be found in the “More Information” section of each record.

Look for conclusion of this series later this week.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Ways to Access Digitized Materials, Part I

Did you know that there are a number of ways to access the digitized materials of the Vietnam Archive other than through the Virtual Vietnam Archive search page?

One way to access digital materials, or just to browse through the holdings of the Vietnam Archive, is through the Browse the Collections page. This section of our website contains alphabetical listings of all of the collections in the Vietnam Archive (arranged by last name for individuals, or first word for other collection types). Each browse page contains some basic information about the collection, including a Scope and Content note (when available) that provides an overview of what the collection contains. There is also a link to the full finding aid for the collection (a finding aid is basically an inventory of the collection). When materials from a particular collection have been digitized, links will be provided at the bottom of the finding aid to the digital materials. Please note, though, that due to system limitations, these links will only generate up to 250 records. To access the remainder of a collection, you will have to utilize the Virtual Archive search page. Additionally, the finding aid will have a link to an oral history if one has been conducted with the donor of the collection. A link to Browse the Collections can be found on our homepage.

Speaking of Oral Histories, there is also a Browse the Oral History Interviews page (link available on the homepage). This page is arranged alphabetically by last name of the interviewee, includes a description of each interview, and links to listen to the audio of the interview and/or a transcript, when available. In addition to the browse pages, there are also pages listing just interviews or collections added within the last few months.

I’ll post more ways to access digital materials here next week. (see Part II, Part III)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Virtual Archive Updates and New Additions RSS Feed

To assist frequent users of our site with staying on top of new additions to the Virtual Vietnam Archive, as well as updated items, a RSS feed of new and updated records has been created. This feed will update automatically at 5:00am (-0600 GMT) Tuesday-Saturday and will list items added to the Virtual Vietnam Archive the day before. Additionally, any existing records that have been updated, such as collection Finding Aids, Oral Histories, or Audio or Moving Image records, will be listed as well. Each RSS item listing will include the title of the item, some basic information about the item, and a link to a more complete record for the item, including links to the digitized version for non-copyrighted materials. Please note that the RSS feed does not include a direct link to download the item, just a link to a page where you can download the item, if available.
Using this feed will allow users to view new and updated records without having to go through the Virtual Vietnam Archive search engine.

More information about the RSS feed can be found on the About the Blog and RSS feed page, or you can .

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