Sanborn Maps

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Want to know more about your house? Then you need the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps. These indispensable tools for historical cartographic research were created by the Sanborn Map and Publishing Company to help fire insurance companies find who they needed to bill and what they needed to pay, they now serve as an important record of America's urbanization.

The maps cover some 12,000 cities and towns across the country and were published from 1867 to 1970. Many libraries and historical societies will carry maps of their surrounding areas. The Ann Arbor District Library has copies (on micro film) for Ann Arbor, Chelsea, Dexter, Manchester, Milan, Saline, and Ypsilanti (with dates from 1884 to 1948). They can be found in the micro film drawers (2nd floor, way behind the periodicals desk).

Resources for Students – Current Issues and Debates

Need some support for your side of the debate? Or just want to present a balanced view in your research paper? The Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center database can help.

Find viewpoint articles from both sides of current issues as well as background material, articles, and web sites.

Access Opposing Viewpoints in the Kids and Teens section of our Research page. Search from home with your library card!

Vote Tuesday, November 4th ~ And Bring Your I.D.

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Polls open at 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday, November 4th. Remember, this election you'll need to show valid I.D. when voting. Visit the Michigan Votes website and you'll get answer to these questions and more: Am I registered to vote? Where do I vote? How do I get there? What type of voting equipment is available? Who is my city/township clerk? Am I eligible to vote absentee? Need to review the candidates and proposals? Visit the Washtenaw County Elections website and scroll down to the November election.

Ann Arbor Cooks

Ann Arbor CookbookAnn Arbor Cookbook

AADL is proud to present Ann Arbor Cooks, a new online database of local historical cookbooks and heirloom recipes, created in partnership with the Washtenaw County Historical Society, the Culinary Historians of Ann Arbor and Ann Arbor Hadassah. The Washtenaw County Historical Society provided the core collection of cookbooks from their archives at the Museum on Main Street and will play a continuing role in enhancing the online collection with more items from their archives. Ann Arbor Cooks also presents a complete set of digital copies of Repast, a publication of the Culinary Historians of Ann Arbor. So dig in! You can search or browse the entire collection of recipies; read the cookbooks cover to cover; or send us recipes of your own.

Jane-mania continues!

Jane Austen fans - have you read all of Jane Austen’s books and seen the two recent movies (Becoming Jane and The Jane Austen Book Club), but still can't get enough Jane?

Find a list of Austen-inspired fiction in the new Novelist article “Literature for Janeites.” You can also find authors with similar styles on their Jane Austen read-alike page.

Access the Novelist database in the Arts & Literature section of our Research page. Find a link to article on the Novelist home page, or use their ‘Search our Database’ tab to search articles. Janeites (and others) with library cards can search Novelist from home!

Resources for Art History Students

Taking art history this semester? Whether you’re researching Picasso or just need a quick definition of Art Nouveau, the AADL is here to help.

Check out the Grove Dictionary of Art database for artist biographies, bibliographies, and encyclopedia articles. You can also find images of artists’ works.

Access the Grove Dictionary of Art in the Arts & Literature section of our Research page. Library cardholders can search from home!

Homework Bits - "Electric Heroes" using RESEARCH databases

A 4th/5th grade assignment is to find information on "Electric Heroes" and their inventions. To use the RESEARCH databases, Choose MY ACCOUNT and login. These databases are not on the internet. They are only on library websites through your AADL library card.
The articles provide the citations you need to prove your research.
1. Choose the RESEARCH tab along the top of the website.
2. Use the link to "browse databases by name".
3. Choose BIOGRAPHY RESOURCE CENTER.
4. If you know names, use the last name to search for articles on that person.
5. If you do not know names, go to "Biographical Facts Search" and choose your keywords to find names. You will come up with articles to read, or print. I looked for a term in "occupations" related to electricity. I chose "electronics engineer". Then I chose "female" for gender. I got a list of names. I chose some names, and followed the link to read about them. You can find names and why they are mentioned.
6. Now the challenge is finding articles long enough to explain their work.

Homework Bits - "Exploration" using RESEARCH databases

A 4th/5th grade assignment is to find information on “exploration of north America”. To use the RESEARCH databases, Choose MY ACCOUNT and login. These databases are not on the internet. They are only on library websites through your AADL library card.
The articles provide the citations you need to prove your research.
1. Choose the RESEARCH tab along the top of the website.
2. Use the link to "browse databases by subject".
3. Choose “Kid’s and Teens”.
4. Choose “Kid’s INFOBITS”.
5. Choose” Advanced Search” and enter keywords.
I used “discovery”, “OR”, “exploration”, “AND”, “north America”. You will come up with articles to read, or print.
6. Now the challenge is finding "historical" exploration, and "keywords" for further research.

Reference U.S.A.- looking for someone or info on companies?

Reference USAReference USA

So your old friend moved to Nevada but you don’t know where. Try using the library’s research product Reference USA to find them. Reference USA is found on the library’s website under the Research tab.

Another very important & useful feature of this software is looking up businesses by region/etc and limiting the search to specific types of companies. It’s a great resource for sales & marketing leads. My search for info on ICE CREAM & FROZEN DESSERTS (MFRS) in Michigan yielded 40 businesses.

Use Reference USA at any Ann Arbor District Library location or from your home / business computer. Off site usage requires your Ann Arbor District Library card #.

TumbleBooks: Online Stories for Kids

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One of the eResources that the library subscribes to is Tumblebooks. You can read stories, listen to stories, and get help on sounding out words. I like Robert Munsch. TumbleBooks has five stories by him: 50 Below Zero, The Fire Station, The Paper Bag Princess, Pigs, and Wait and See. I just listened to Robert Munsch read 50 Below Zero. I could read along and watch the animated illustrations. It was great. Give TumbleBooks a try.

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