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Better Than Google

Last summer, the dreaded Ebola virus was featured heavily in the news. Everyone was worried about the spread of this disease and the alarming death rate in Africa. How did it compare to the Black Death that ravaged medieval Europe?  What would have it been like to be a victim of that plague that decimated the population of Europe by more than a third? The prescribed remedies suggested at the time were designed to get rid of bad odors which they believed carried diseases.  Unfortunately, this medieval aromatherapy, while probably not doing much harm, didn't do any good. Medicine has come a very long way since then, and we can be thankful to live in these times, as the database Daily Life Through History proves.

Daily Life Through History is a database that is equal parts information and fun. You don't have to be writing a paper on Elizabethan England or ancient Rome to use it, but if you are, you are in luck. As they say in their webpage, "In Daily Life through History, students and researchers discover the everyday details about past eras that make historical accounts relevant and meaningful." History is more than just facts and figures, maps and battles.This database gets to the heart of history, to retell  experiences in a way that makes it come alive. To really understand what life was like for example, a Japanese aristocrat in the Heian period (794-1185) Daily Life Through History contains essays on marriage, work, sports and education, as well as other topics.  Time periods range from 10,000 BCE to the present.  Civilizations and cultures range from aboriginal Australia to 21st century China. Those all-important primary sources are also included, whether it be artwork, an eye-witness account or an official document. To peek into the everyday life of a common peasant, or a nobleman, is an experience that illuminates our common humanity. As Marcus Garvey said "A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots".


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