Sunday, 27 January 2008

Hidden Gems of the Web: Take 2

After reading my post of December 1, 'The Information Mine', in which I listed five 'Hidden Gems of the Web', a friend of mine (who posts comments occasionally as 'ActonHighStreet') provided me with the following list of his recommended little-known websites.

N.B. The websites here are rather different from anything I would have chosen so, even if you weren't enamoured of anything in my list, give these a visit!


  • The William Blake Archive
    Collection of electronic versions of works by William Blake. Each page of 20 illuminated 18th & 19th cetury books included here is reproduced, along with several sets of Blake's drawings and paintings. This site is a excellent example of how the internet can be used to preserve our past as well as being an integral part of our present.

  • The Bureau of Public Secrets
    Nothing like I expected from the site's name, this is another archive but of a decidedly different type. This site focuses on a political artistic movement originating in France, Situationism. There are hundreds of philosophical texts here, but rather little in the way of context for the uninitiated. AHS' recommended starting points: Iva Chtchgelov's 'Formulary for a New Urbanism' and Guy Debord's 'The Society of the Spectacle'.

  • The Informal Education Homepage
    An encyclopedia of educational concepts, thinkers and events. Those who do not identify with the 'Guardian-reading' political left might be turned off this place quickly, but the "small group of educators" behind this site do take some pains (there are exceptions) to make it read as dispassionate as possible when covering controversial areas. It is largely rather dry stuff, but if you are interested or involved in any aspect of education it's certainly worth bookmarking.

  • Kill From The Heart & 7InchPunk
    ActonHighStreet has introduced me to countless bands and albums, particularly of the punk rock genre. He recommends these two music-related sites for further listening. Kill From The Heart is a database of hardcore punk discographies from all around the world, named for an album by Texas punk band The Dicks. 7inchpunk contains MP3s, reviews and cover images of vinyl punk uploaded by site users.

  • Always Touch Out & Tube Map Variations
    Two London-centric sites to finish this eclectic list. Always Touch Out is a database of transport development projects in the city, from new tube stations to road widening schemes. Tube Map Variations is a reproduction of the page originally at Geofftech's London Underground site, containing (as the name suggests) variations on the ubiquitous Tube map, from the useful (such as a map indicating times to get between stations) to the plain daft (take a look at the 'translated into German' maps).

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