From the Center

By Hamilton, Lee H. | The Wilson Quarterly, Spring 2004 | Go to article overview

From the Center


Hamilton, Lee H., The Wilson Quarterly


One of the fascinating aspects of the Internet is how its uses evolve over time. What began as a complicated network has become a simple tool that people can use to go shopping, talk to one another, pay bills, or organize political campaigns. Indeed, what makes the Internet so revolutionary, is its ability to adapt to peoples' needs like a piece of clay that can be shaped into infinite forms. Here at the Wilson Center, our own website, www.wilsoncenter.org, reflects these many developing methods for bringing people and ideas together, and disseminating information to the public.

When the Wilson Center's website was launched in the mid-1990s, it had no images beyond some black text on a white background. Today, the website--managed by editor Lauren Crowley--is a world unto itself, offering textual information, audio and visual materials, and one-stop shopping. A visitor to our site can keep track of programming and events at the Center, find information about our scholars and fellows and the work they're doing, watch live webcasts of speeches and conferences, listen to archives of our award-winning dialogue radio program, submit a customer service question to the WQ, buy the latest books from the Wilson Center Press, read through summaries of Center events and research, or e-mail one of our staff or scholars.

Even the most seasoned Internet travelers find compelling reasons to spend time on our site. For instance, our Cold War International History Project maintains a "virtual archive" of thousands of recently declassified and translated documents from the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and China. Here you'll find transcripts of conversations between Mao Zedong and Nikita Khrushchev at the height of Sino-Soviet tensions, minutes of Politburo meetings in the Kremlin when the decision was made to invade Hungary, Soviet intelligence on U.S. military capabilities, reports from communist embassies in Pyongyang about their reclusive and unusual North Korean ally, and even a KGB memorandum on preparations for a memorial service for John Lennon. …

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