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Category Archives: Historical Resources

So, this page has scans of old diagrams featuring the different rifles used.

This is a history of the machine gun in 1914.


The Army Air Force Exchange Service not only has a webpage/online shopping mall, but the service itself is interested in archiving its 100+ years of history.  The page dedicated to this contains not only photographs and facts, but an ongoing call for anybody with relevant experience and documents to step forward and share.  It’s a very good idea, partly because when one lives overseas, the commisary, PX/BX, and all the other services really are a important part of day to day life.

They have a lot of old computer manuals archived there in PDF format. is a really good resources for stuff like that.

There’s a pretty good resource at about using that particular antique.

The first computer my family ever owned was a green screen Apple IIe.  We got it in England, and it followed the family through Bermuda, Belgium, and the Netherlands.  We never upgraded, and once I graduated, my parents went through the 1990’s largely without a computer.   Once I received my MA, and left West Virginia University, I moved in with my parents.  My Mactell Macintosh clone became the household comptuer, and I left it with my parents when I moved out two years later, to go back to graduate school.

So, the point is this.  My family originally got what was considered a cutting edge computer, and they never upgraded.  I looked at my friends, some of whom had a little more up to date models, with a sense of envy.  So, even through I’m not too computer savy, I find this website intriguing.  It’s a virtual museum of all the old, obsolete computers stretching back to the 1970s.   It contains detailed summaries with an images.

Finding new web resources is always a joy. seems to me a mixture between a viral video site, like YouTube, and a digital archive like PhotoBucket. Basically, it streams PDF files into a view, so you’re not stuck downloading a huge file containing hundreds of e-pages. I found this when I actually took a second look at the 1978 NASA press releases mentioned in the previous post.

I stuck “Bermuda” into it’s search function, and the initial results seem to be dominated by tin-foil hat conspiracy documents about “The Triangle.” Among other things. Like YouTube, there’s an embed, function but it’s not working the way I hoped. I cut and pasted the HTML into word press, and I only get this link. (It’s probably just a user error on my part.)

Read this document on Scribd: How the Bermuda Triangle Works

After posting that last entry, I was wondering how many municipalities both in Jersey and elsewhere have constructed 9/11 memorials.  Quick bit of googling has lead here, although the last entry posted was two years ago this month.

The History of The Great War comprises 28 volumes, with the narrative drawn from official sources.   Military Operations: France and Belgium, 1914 is the first volume, as put together by Brigadier-General Sir James E. Edmonds.  It’s from that one finds the following description of the town and geography:

The ground on which the British Army had taken up its Map position was a narrow belt of coalfield which extends roughly for rather more than twenty miles westwards from Maurage (6 miles east of Mons) along the Mons canal, and has an average breadth, from the canal southward, of two miles. South of this belt the country gradually rises to a great tract of rolling chalk downs, cut into by many streams and with numerous outlying spurs. Every inch of this territory has in bygone days seen the passage of British armies; name after name is found upon British colours, or is familiar in British military history.

On the ground occupied by the I. Corps, that is to say, roughly from Givry northward to Spiennes, thence westward almost to Paturages and thence southward again to Quévy le Petit, the chalk comes to the surface; and there is even a little outcrop of it within the salient or loop of the canal around Mons. This small area is cut up by wire fences, market gardens, and the usual artificial features which form the outskirts of a provincial town ; and it is noteworthy that across this tangle of enclosures no fewer than seven different roads diverge from Mons north-east and north-west to as many bridges. At the base of the salient the ground rises gradually from north to south, for fifteen hundred to two thousand yards, till it culminates in three well-marked features. The first of these is Mount Erebus, a round hill immediately to the south of Mons; the second is a great whale-backed hump, about a thousand yards long from north to south, very steep upon every side except the eastern, and crowned by two summits, Mont Panisel on the north and Bois la Haut on the south, the whole called by the latter name. The third is the height known as Hill 93, which lies south-east of Bois la Haut and is divided from it by a shallow valley. This last hill was of considerable tactical importance, since from it and from Bois la Haut observation and cross-fire could be brought to bear upon the ground eastward about St. Symphorien. But Bois la Haut was in parts thickly wooded, and consequently from its northern end, where there were hospital buildings, there was little field of fire.

West of Mons the line of the canal is straight, and the actual borders are clear; the ground on both sides of it is cut up by a network of artificial water-courses, chequered by osier-beds, for a breadth of a mile or more. But the opening up of the coal-measures has turned much of the country immediately south of this watery land into the hideous confusion of a mining district. The space occupied by the II. Corps in particular, within the quadrangle Mons-Frameries-Dour-Boussu, was practically one huge unsightly village, traversed by a vast number of devious cobbled roads which lead from no particular starting-point to no particular destination, and broken by pit-heads and great slag-heaps, often over a hundred feet high. It is, in fact, a close and blind country, such as no army had yet been called upon to fight in against a civilised enemy in a great campaign.


Amsterdam does have a physical archive, but it has an online presence too.  Like Utrecht, the city has a searchable archive and database.  The only thing, however, is one has to remember how to use it.  There’s no English version of this page, and typing in English keywords is not going to get you very many results.  For example, “Street” will get you no where, but “Straat” may be helpful.  (This old canal photo I “borrowed” is an example of some of the visuals to be found there.  The interesting part of their pictures is that they come up in a flash window, allowing you to zoom in and out).

This looks to be a fascinating and useful resource, should anybody want to research the history Utrecht, The Netherlands. The archives are extensive, but, of course, not a lot of it is in English. Then again, if one has a Internet translator and a passing grasp of Dutch grammar and syntax, figuring out the garbled, mangled Google Translate results shouldn’t be too hard. Of the services offered, there is a search-able photo archive, much like one Buckinghamshire County has made available. The archive has several different specialized databases, like this one from the 1970’s till present. There’s also a more generalized historical search with a pull-down menu.  Here, I found plenty of interior pictures of the Hoog Catharijne, one the largest shopping malls in Europe (at least, when I lived there).