Daily Life through History

December 20th, 2010

Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to be a Viking? How about a factory worker in Victorian England or a warrior in 17th century Japan?  What was life like for the people building the pyramids in Ancient Egypt or experiencing the rise of Soviet power in Russia? If you’re interested in history, or even just curious about what it was like when, then the database “Daily Life through History” is one for you. This valuable resource, available through IU East Campus Library, is easy to navigate and fun to explore. You’ll find concise and helpful articles, citations, pictures, maps, provocative questions, and interesting facts. With this database, you won’t just learn about the rich, powerful or well-known figures in history. You’ll learn about what life was like for the people who lived during these eras. 

 http://dailylife2.abc-clio.com/

 Viking marauding expedition Ridpath John Clark Ridpath's History of the World 1901 Daily Life through History ABC-CLIO, 2010 16 Dec 2010

“Daily Life through History” provides you with three options for navigation. You can search by “era,” “idea exchange” or “advanced search.” Each of these choices has its own unique benefits. If you’re interested in browsing, then searching by era is a good choice. History is broken down into five large sections, beginning with “Life in the Ancient World” and ending with “Life in the Modern World, 1900-present.” Under each of these sections there are sub-categories which focus on different regions or cultures. For example, you could read about Renaissance Europe, British India, Qing China, the Ottoman Empire, or the American West. Once you choose an era you’ll find short articles, resource suggestions, pictures, maps, and artwork. Along the left side of the page there are tabs that link to further information. Are you interested in what it would have been like to be a child? What about a mother or a soldier?  What games did people play? What did they eat? Where did they work? How did they dress? What did they do for fun? What did they do when they were sick? How were they educated? You’ll find answers to all of these questions and many more.  

 The second option, “Idea Exchange,” is a compelling way to engage with some of the questions that historians are debating today. A thought provoking question is presented within a short article and followed by several “Response” articles. Each article relates back to the original question. Reading through these articles is a great way to see historians engaging with each other and using sources to back up their arguments. Each article includes a list of suggested further reading, so if something interests you, you can find out more! Two examples of these questions are ”Is ‘The Family’ an essential element for a stable society” and  “Are contemporary women’s lives substantially better now than in the past?” You likely have your own opinions on these subjects, but you can learn more by reading the responses. You may read about an argument you’d never considered before.

 Victorian workshop In a Birmingham Soldering Shop in Robert Harborough Sherard The Child-Slaves of Britain London Hurst and Blackett 1905

The third option is “Advanced Search” and this is the best option if you are pursuing research goals, particularly for the classroom. You can perform a general search or limit your search by checking category boxes. You can choose to search for articles, maps, or facts and figures. You can search by subjects, such as “gender roles” or “warfare,” or you can specify era or region.  At the end of each article, the citations are listed in MLA format, but, if you click on the link below the citation, you can see the citations in several other formats as well, including Chicago and APA.

 So, If you want to learn more about the history of people, whether ten years ago or thousands of years ago, then check out this exciting database, available to you through IU East Campus Library.

 port city of Guangzhou (Canton) showing ships and factories just before the Second Opium War 1855 Getty Images