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Friday, June 15, 2012

All the National Geographic, None of the Clutter

Their yellow covers are so iconic. You can't help but recognize a National Geographic magazine when you see it. Beautiful images, wonderful writing. The world opening before you on the pages of this illustrious magazine. It's a love affair until you have a mountain of them in your garage or basement!

Maybe we can offer a little relief from your clutter problems. We now offer access to over 100 years of National Geographic magazine right from your home computer. You can see full reproductions of the original articles, including those gorgeous photographs.

As you can see from the screenshots above, the layout is very nice and easy to use. A bonus is that all of the articles and images are searchable. I happen to really like airships, or "dirigibles" as they were once called. A quick search reveals 7 articles (and 5 advertisements!) that mention "dirigible."

One other surprisingly neat feature is the "graphing tool." This isn't for making pie charts. The tool let's you enter a word and see how many times that word is mentioned in National Geographic (Google's Ngram viewer for Google Books is similar). In the example above, I searched for "war". You can see that the number of occurences shoots up in around 1917 and 1939--during two major world wars. Pretty cool, right?

While the online National Geographic might not capture all of the romance and history of the magazine, we think it has some pretty compelling features. Let us know what you discover in the comments below.

Can I access these resources from home?

Yes, you can!

With a valid Des Plaines Public Library, any of the links above should take you right to the online resource.

Don't have a library card? Stop by sometime and get one. Any Des Plaines resident can apply.

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