News from the Reference Desk Category: History

Britannica Library

britannica libraryThe Library now subscribes to the excellent and authoritative Encyclopedia Britannica’s online presence, Britannica Library. Explore thousands of topics in science, social studies, language arts, and mathematics for school projects, review concepts taught in the classroom, or learn something new. Very impressive are the more than 90,000 images, videos, and audio clips. There are 3 levels – children’s, teen, and adult – with great information for everyone. It would be easy to spend an afternoon or evening exploring here.

Flying the Flag – the right way!

It’s that time of year, when Old Glory is proudly displayed.  The United States Flag is one of the most visible and important symbols of our country and the United States Flag Code spells out proper use of the flag.

From a staff, the union (the blue field) should be at the peak, unless the flag is being flown at half-staff.  No other flag should be placed above or to the right of the American flag. The flag can also be displayed vertically, hanging flat so the folds fall free. The union should be uppermost to the flag’s own right (the observer’s left.)

Customarily, the flag is flown from sunrise to sunset, although it may be flown 24 hours a day if properly illuminated during night hours.  Proper illumination is a light specifically for the flag (preferred) or a light source in the area that allows the flag to be identifiable. The flag should not be flown in inclement weather, unless it is made of all-weather material (many are.)

The flag should not touch the ground or be used for draping or decoration. No part of the flag should be used as a costume, in clothing, or for advertising purposes.  Lapel pins are allowed and should always be worn on the left near the heart.

When a flag becomes too worn to display, it should be respectfully disposed of, preferably by burning.  American Legion Post 36 and VFW Post 2992 host an annual Flag Day (June 14) ceremonial burning of worn flags. For more information on displaying the flag, visit the American Legion website at http://www.legion.org/flag/code .

Photographs from the Field Museum

Chicago’s Field Museum is known for its notable specimens numbering over 24 million.  Did you know that the museum also has tens of thousands of photographs in its collection?  Many of them are available online at http://fieldmuseum.org/explore/department/library/photo-archives/collections.  The photos include scenes from the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 and historic photos from Africa, Peru, the South Pacific and the United States.  This collection documents the history and architecture of the Museum, its exhibitions, events, staff and scientific expeditions.