Monthly Archives: April 2009

CWIHP publishes the Vassiliev notebooks

From the Cold War International History Project:

The Vassiliev Notebooks are an important new source of information on Soviet intelligence operations in the United States from 1930 to 1950. Though the KGB’s archive remains closed, former KGB officer turned journalist Alexander Vassiliev was given the unique opportunity to spend two years poring over materials from the KGB archive taking detailed notes–including extended verbatim quotes–on some of the KGB’s most sensitive files.

Though Vassiliev’s access was not unfettered, the 1,115 pages of densely handwritten notes that he was able to take shed new and important light on such critical individuals and topics as Alger Hiss, the Rosenberg case, and “Enormous,” the massive Soviet effort to gather intelligence on the Anglo-American atomic bomb project.

Alexander Vassiliev has donated his original copies of the handwritten notebooks to the Library of Congress with no restriction on access. They are available to researchers in the Manuscript Division. Electronic copies of the original notebooks, transcribed Russian versions, and translated English versions are available for download free of charge from http://www.wilsoncenter.org/CWIHP/VassilievNotebooks.

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Introducing the Bookworm plugin

If you are familiar with Drupal, you are probably familiar with the concept of a “book”. A Drupal “book” is a collection of Web pages that are automatically tied together with proper hyperlinks, so that there is no need to build navigation manually.  There is typically a table-of-contents page and a number of chapter pages.  Recently, I needed to build a few “books” in WordPress, so I ended up writing a little plugin that I called Bookworm.

The data organization in WordPress allows to build “books” rather easily. WordPress pages are hierarchical, so it is possible to create any number of chapter pages to which the table-of-contents page would be a parent.  So all you need is a way to automatically generate a table of contents (essentially, a linked list of the current page’s children) and a a way to automatically build a navigation menu with links to previous chapter page, table of contents, and next chapter page.

Enter the Bookworm plugin.

Put [bookworm_list_pages] into the table-of-contents page, and it will output a list of pages which list the current page as their parent.  For now, pages can be listed only in order of their ID (which, conveniently, is also the order in which they were created).  Putting [bookworm_flip_pages] into a chapter page will output hyperlinks to previous chapter, table of contents (which is assumed to be on the parent page), and next chapter.