By Kevin Johnson
Cold Spring Harbor High School, New York
The Holocaust/Genocide Project (HGP) progressed in its telecommunications abilities in September 1994 with the establishment of the International Education and Resource Network (I*EARN) HGP Gopher. This project began in June 1994, with the intent of making resources more accessible to I*EARN participants. Additionally, the project's facilitators wanted a single, comprehensive source for electronic information about the Holocaust, including access to other Gopher servers and the HGP's own bibliographical and reference materials.
The facilitators of the HGP designed a Gopher which is "user-friendly" and allows subject-specific downloading and browsing, or e-mailing documents to oneself or others directly from the Gopher. Through the work of project mentor Gideon Goldstein, facilitator Honey Kern, and volunteer David Dickerson during July and August 1994, the resources of the HGP were posted on the Gopher and were made available to the general public in late September 1994.
The Gopher (a user-friendly interface) allows browsing and retrieving information from the Internet. Using a series of menus, which are set up by the server's owner, the available subject data are organized in a readily accessible manner.
The University of Minnesota created the first Gopher and the name is derived from their mascot the "Golden Gopher." Since then, Gopher servers have been created all over the world, carrying information from universities, organizations, and projects -- such as the Holocaust/Genocide Project.
In September 1994, the HGP Gopher was installed and made accessible to anyone with Internet access. The effort was made with the hope that our Gopher would increase awareness of the Holocaust and foster greater support for the HGP.
Since its initiation, the HGP Gopher has been a great success. Peter Copen, the founder of I*EARN, remarked that he thinks the HGP Gopher is the only one of its kind with such a vast combination of Holocaust resources. Many of our sources, such as the historical time lines of World War II, come directly from the HGP's computer teleconference. To encourage student and teacher research, the HGP's bibliographies, historical resources, topics on general nonfiction, poetry, and documentary films are available on the new Gopher. The sources from the HGP, however, are not all that has been added to the Gopher. Additional information on resources and access to external Gopher and WAIS (Wide-Area Information Servers -- which allow users to search databases and libraries) systems have both been added to make the HGP Gopher as comprehensive as possible.
Students and teachers can easily reach the HGP Gopher from a Gopher server menu:
gopher.iearn.org (Port 7009)
You can also reach the HGP Gopher via the World Wide Web at the following URL:
Important Update: After the advent of the Holocaust/Genocide Project's Web site, the HGP's Gopher server was taken off line and is no longer available. When the World Wide Web was first introduced in 1991, Gopher was well-established and quite popular. By the late 1990s, for a variety of reasons, Gopher had all but disappeared. (Please consult the Wikipedia entry on the Gopher protocol for details.)
Copyright © 1995-2005 by iEARN. All rights reserved.
Access the HGP's An End to Intolerance Web page.
Access the Holocaust/Genocide Project's Home Page.