Readers have asked for information about our website. Here is some basic information about our website, who we are, asadenic credentils, work experience, and some basic information about our website. If you think other matters should be addressed here, just let us know.
Our website was founded in 1996, although our current URL is more recent. That is ancient by internet standards. We began as idea of an elderly friend, Christopher Wagner, who was primarily interested in children's fashion. Chris did not, however, had a basic command of HTML and was using one of those early hosting sites (Tripod). Chris asked for help in web page design. The idea appealed to me as I taught history and other social siences for a few years. And while I had a good command of standard history, there were a range of questiins the students asked that I was illequipped to answer. These were questions about social history. I found girls asking me questions about topics like clothing, dance, and music for the various era we were studying. Boys were interested in subjects like sports history. In the years before the internet many of these subjects were not easy to research. So Chris and I set out to build a website. Historical Boys Clothing is surely the largest compendium on boys clothing available on the internet with sections going back to ancient times and countries around the world. Teachers and students wih only a few key strokes can find detiled chonologicl, country, garment, and other informtion. And we have added a compoanion site on girls' clothing. As we developed the fashion site, it occured to me that this would be the foundation for a much more comprehensive site on history and economics focusing on children. My students were also interested in how students were affected by hitorical and economic events. And children were not only affected by those evnts, but children and youth have not uncommonly played important roles in these events. The American Civil War has been called The Boys' War because of the number of youths who fought the War. But there are many other such examples. Thus we have develed the Children in History compnion ite.
Our website as it has evolved has sets its mission as developing information about children in history, an effort to merge both standard and social history. Our original fashion archive is a wonderful archive which depicts children throughout the ages, but we have now expanded our site to many other tpocs, but especially history and economics. Here information on children is not always available, but as we build the basic historical and economic structure we are adding information on childhood as we are able to find it.
Our desire is to make our site available to anyone interested around the world that is interested. We thus offer two alternatives to access. Many pages are open access. Other pages require subscrption. This can be obtained without cost by submitting material that can be used in our site. And here everyone has useful information. Everyone is an expert on at least one thing--themselves. Thus they can pass along some of their own life experiences or perhaps details about their personal preferences in childhood fashions. Of course contribuions on history, economics, and other topics are welcome from the most erudite. But we recognize that not everyone has the time or inclination to contribure material. Thus readers can also gain full access by making small monetary contribution if they prefer. We are a non-profit effort. And these contributions are sufficent to support the site and bring it to anyone interested. And because we are self financing, our site is not controlled are influence by any institutional biases, including governmnt, corporate, religious, or political.
Perhaps the most important part of the 'About Us' section for a history and economics site is for the Web Master to honestly explain his or her social orientation so bias cn be assessed. For us this is easy. We do have a very definite bias--human freedom. We are for phiosphie and efforts to expand human freedom and we oppose those who attempt to restrict it. It is no accident that one of our most popular sections is Ending the Slave Trade. Out of 0.8 million sites, it comes up on the first page of a Google search. The story of freedom begins in West with the tiny Greek city states and resistance at Marathon to the threat of a Persian invasion and we have a bias for the Greeks and others who stood for freedom, not always successful. And it was in Greece that democracy began. The story of freedom is not always simple. After all, ancient Greece was a society in which slavery was an important part of the economy. In the same sence, the totalitarian Communist states called themselves people's democracies. It is interesting to note that democracy is a Western phenomon. Democeacy developed on its own now where, but Europe. All the democracies today outside Europe or either Europen implants (The United States, Canada, Australia, etc,) or countries strongly influenced by a Western emocracy (India, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, etc.). But agin the story is not simple. It was the Europen power that subjected muh of the world to colonial domination. But even here it is a story of freedom. The impact of freedom in Europe led to democracy and free market capitalism, The result was an exolosion of human creativity and scientific development that gave even small European countries to build the military power to conquer huge overseas empires. The phenominal success of the Asian Tigers hows that freedom not only works in the West, but any country with the courage and foresight to implement it. This no doubt is anethma to the Politically Correct. But we stronly reject modern Politically Correct thinking which is commonly intent on silenceing discenting voicesand debate. The magic of the internet provides the opportunity to learn about other views, including insights from other countries. And we invite debate. We welcome ideas and criticism from readers. And we very commonly add them to our pages. We suggest to anyone who thinks that we provide a biased view of history and economics to send a critique and alternate view and see if we fairly present it.
An important element in assessing any history website or book is the sources used. Here the extent of documentation, range of coverage, and support for key assertions are all important factors. Most of our history pages have the sources clearly detailed as the last paragraph. Readers can assess for themselves if the various pages are properly supported. This varies from page to page. Some pages still in progress understandably often have only limited documentation. Those pages nearing completion are much more fully documented. Here we try to include both sources from recognized authorities as well as sources that express a wide range of views and this can be easily assessed because our sources are so clearly stated. The fashion section is a little different. Many of the fashion topics we address are simply not addressed by fashion historians who primarily focus on adult fashions, especially women's fashions. Here are primary source is the photographic record, but we also have used art for the period before photography as well as catalogs, advertisements, vintage clothing, personal information, and other sources.
About half of our reders are from the United States. Much of the rest comes from Germany, the Russian Federation, and Germany. There are also quite a few redrs from Austria, the Netherlands, China, Canada, France, Austrlia, and the
Philippines. There are some readers from virtually every country, but the numbers from other countries are relatively limited. Many of the readers are from schools and universities working on research asignments as well as teachrs working on lesson plans.
Reader usage has varied overtime. Readers have gravitared primarily to our history pages, but cwe note some popular fashion pages as well. The selection shows an eclectic choice of topics. We are suprised by some of the choices, especially the intrest in the U.S. Constitution. Some of our most popular pages have consistently been at the top of the list, incluing the following pages. We have listed them in order of popularity. hese include both pages in our history section and in our fashion ection.
Here are popular pages in our hitory section.
Here are some of the popular pages in our fashion section.
CIH/HBC is a very large site civering aide variety of topics. We think some of the tpics we have worked on deserve a much higher page ranking thn they have received so far. We note that "Ending the Atlantic Slave Trade' has a very high ranking. We are olesed with this, but believ that it is 'Ending the Slave Trade' should be the page with the highest ranking. 'Endng the Atlantic Slave Trade' deals with the European slave trade. Tg=his is an important topic which is why we have spent so much time on it. But also important is the Arab slave trade and efforts to end it. Both are covered in our generic 'Ending the Slae Trade' page. Another important page is our page on 'World War II Isolationists'. This is important because people with the best of intentions almost caused the Totalitarians to suceed in destroying Wstern Civililzation. Our work on Islam is also important. We are constantly amazed that people who blog about Islam, but have never bothered to read the Koran. We have also done a great deal of work in the Cold war. While not as popular a topic as World war II, it is nonetheless a very important topic. The Great Totalitarian powers were the great threat to Western Civilizaion in the 20th century. The Unitd States and Britain played a key role in destroying fascism in world War II. It would be Cold War that would destroy the Soviet Union and Communism.
The wonderful aspect of the Internt is its global reach. This has allowed us to make our work acailavke to very country around the world that allows its people to freely access the internet. And more importabtly it allows readers to contact us and haretheir views and insights. This is important becuse our experiences are largely, but not exclusively Amrerican. Our European readers in particular have offered many valuable insights which has caused us to change or at least modify our views on a host of isues. and even if we do not agree with reader comments, we often add them to our pages to present readers with a range of views and interpretations.
The original HBC webmaster was Christopher Wagner who founded the site in 1996. Chris was an elderly gentlewoman and did not fully understand how to manage a substantial website. The current CIH/HBC Webmaster is Dennis M. Weidner. I began helping Chris and subsequently took over the site (19988). I am the author of most of our pages. Reders have submitted pages and in these instances the author is identified on those pages. Readers have asked who I am and by academic and work experience, which is a reasonable question in assessing the objectivity of our site as we address many controversial topics. So here is a little basic biographical information: Davis and Elkins College: BA in History and Political Science. (1965) University of South Carolina: MA in International Relations (1973) Peace Corps Service in Ecuador (1966-67) U.S. Army service in Korea (1969-71) High school teaching in South Carolina (1971-74) South Carolina Human Affairs Commission (1974-75) National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (1975-2001): Foreign Affairs Officer. Researching issues associated with Latin American fisheries and diplomatic relations associated with regional fisheries. Published numerous works on these and related subjects. I committed my first act of civil disobedience (with no influence from my parents) when I was 10 years old, helping a black friend that I thought was being mistreated. . In school I fought to get Jews admitted into our fraternity. I spent 2 years In the Peace Corps I worked one year in a rural colonization area and helped get a school built. Many of the children I worked with were from Native American families moving from the sierra into coastal areas. Then I taught in an Ecuadorean normal school. In the Army I stood up for Puerto Ricans who were being mistreated and got my arm broken as a result. Then in Korea I worked with KATUSA soldiers. When I came home I did voter registration in black neighborhoods in Colombia, South Carolina while it was still not safe to do so. Then I worked with black kids in a newly integrated school. In my classes I helped white kids in the most conservative Congressional district in the country understand the civil rights issues and put my job in jeopardy. I oversaw role playing exercises to pursue discussions of cultural sensitivity. I gave students the opportunity to do work in public service groups like Head Start as an alternative to a term paper. During the summer my students and I took clothes and toys to a migrant labor camp facility that we collected at school and worked there. I worked for the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission and among other assignments promoted the hiring of female police officers with rural sheriffs very skeptical of the idea. And then I worked in the Federal Government for 26 years. I worked in Latin America helping to further efforts to protect threatened fish species as well as endangered marine mammals and turtles. During that period I worked very closely with our agency's affirmative action programs. I helped provide some 150 mostly minority youth a summer experience working in the Government, often their first job. I received numerous awards for my affirmative action activities. And now that I am retired I have begun working on the CIH/HBC website.
HBC/CIH is a huge website. There are more than 25,000 oages and 35,000 images and we are still growing. New pages are being added every day to existing topics and additiinal topics are being addressed all the time. In such a massive website, we understand that navigation can be difficult, especilly for a new subscriber. Thus we have a search engine to assist you. In addition, we are quite willing to help subscribers with navigation. Just send us an eMail explaining what you are trying to find, and wear more than happy to asist you with your search. Many students have availed themselves of this service. In addition, if you are involved in a research projrct, we are happy to discuss that with you as well. We have considerable expertise on a rang of historical and fashion topics and we have a readership that extendes to people all over the world with a range of competencies and out look. Even if we can not assist on a specific topic, we are happy to create ne pages dealing with topics that we have not yet addresed. This is how sevrl important HBC/CIH sections began.
Many HBC/CIH readers have asked a variety of subjects about our web site. As I want to reserve my limited availble time for actually working on the web site. I am interested in your questions and will respond to those addressing the substantive topics addressed here. I thought I'd answer the more commonly asked questions here.
It is very easy to contact us. And we wlcome comments from our readers. Here is our contct page with a eMail link.
Reader comments are n importan part of building our website. We have experise on only a certain number of topics. We rely heavily on our raeders expertise on a wide range od issues. And even in areas where we have some experise, reader input has been very valuable. Our background is largely American and to a lesser extent European. This is why the European has prived so valuable. Thanks to the internet, readers in virtually every country have accessed our sute. And we have received questiins and cimments from more than 100 countries. This has significantly added to our site and help to correct from the cultural bias coming from a larhely Americam background. Sometimes readers agree with us. Some times they dusagree or add additional information. All of this adds to our treatment of various topics. W add comments from readers who agree with us to butress our conclusions. But we also add comments from readers who take issue with our conclusions. We believe that this immportant as it it helps to ensure that a wide range of asessments and conclusions have neen considered.
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