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Joe Janes


May 26, 2016

Documents that Changed the World: Noah Webster’s dictionary, 1828

Noah Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language, published in 1828, title page shown here. Webster's work is the subject of an installment of Joe Janes' Documents that Changed the World podcast series.

Joe Janes of the Information School turns the attention of his Documents that Changed the World podcst to Noah Webster and his famous, 70,000-word “American Dictionary of the English language” published in 1828.


March 14, 2016

Documents that Changed the World: ‘Hanging chads’ and butterfly ballots — Florida, 2000

A "butterfly" ballot from Florida for the 2000 presidential election.

With the Florida presidential primary a day away, Joe Janes is recalling the time of butterfly ballots and “hanging chads” — the presidential election of 2000 — in the latest installment of his podcast series, Documents that Changed the World. In the podcasts, Janes, a professor in the UW Information School, explores the origin and…


February 25, 2016

Documents that Changed the World: The Declaration of Independence’s deleted passage on slavery, 1776

The latest installment of Information School professor Joe Janes' podcast series Documents that Changed the World discusses the 168 powerful words condemning slavery that were removed from the Declaration of Independence.

The latest installment of Information School professor Joe Janes’ podcast series Documents that Changed the World discusses 168 powerful words condemning slavery that were excised from the Declaration of Independence at the last minute.


December 23, 2015

Documents that Changed the World: The Fannie Farmer Cookbook, 1896

The Boston Cooking-School Cookbook, 1896.

A glance at a kitchen bookshelf gave UW Information School professor Joe Janes the idea for the latest installment of his Documents that Changed the World podcast — about the famous Boston Cooking-School Cookbook, more popularly known as the Fannie Farmer Cookbook.


November 25, 2015

Documents that Changed the World: FDR’s Thanksgiving Proclamation, 1939

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The U.S. Senate voted to set Thanksgiving as the fourth Thursday in November on Dec. 9, 1941, two days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. You’d think they would have had more important things to talk about. Not Nov. 26, as George Washington had it or the last Thursday in the month as Lincoln…


November 9, 2015

Documents that Changed the World: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, 1982

Visitors touch names and leave gifts at the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C., in 2006.

The Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C., is many things to many people. To Joe Janes of the Information School, the son of a World War II veteran and creator of the Documents that Changed the World podcast series, the memorial, the discussions it sparked and the hearts it helps heal — “the totality of the wall” he says – together comprise an important document.


October 6, 2015

Documents that Changed the World: Alfred Nobel’s will, 1895

Alfred Nobel (1801 - 1872).

Alfred Nobel is remembered for the annual prizes given in his name. But were it not for his confused but effective will, we might remember him as the inventor of dynamite, who grew rich inventing and developing lethal explosives.


August 13, 2015

Documents that Changed the World: Charles Richter’s seismic scale, 1935

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A scale of simple numbers — the Richter Scale — unnerves us when we think about earthquakes, as Pacific Northwest residents have been prone to do lately. But who was Richter, and how did it all come about? Joe Janes takes a look for an installment of his Documents that Changed the World podcast series.


July 29, 2015

Documents that Changed the World: Annals of the World, 1650

James Ussher

As shadows lengthened and day turned to night on Saturday, Oct. 22, in the year 4004 BCE, God created the universe. Or, perhaps not. Still, that’s the time and date for creation determined, after long and painstaking research, by Irish scholar and church leader James Ussher, author of the 17th century chronology, Annals of the World.


May 5, 2015

Documents that Changed the World: The Exaltation of Inanna, 2300 BCE

The disk of Enheduanna shows the high priestess making an offering to her god.

In the latest installment of his Documents that Changed the World podcast series, Joe Janes looks back more than 4,000 years at the Exaltation of Inanna, and what might be the first-ever claim of authorship.


February 2, 2015

Documents that Changed the World: ‘Rosie the Riveter’ poster, 1943

RosietheRiveter

The famous World War II-era poster of Rosie the Riveter is less a document that changed the world than the other way around — an image the world adopted and filled with meaning. But such turnabout is fair play in the ongoing Documents that Changed the World podcast series by UW Information School Professor Joe Janes.


October 14, 2014

Documents that Changed the World: Joseph McCarthy’s ‘list,’ 1950

Wisconsin Sen. Joseph McCarthy, right, holds forth at the Senate Subcommittee on Investigations' McCarthy-Army hearings on June 9, 1954. At left is Joseph Welch, chief senate counsel representing the United States Army.

Sometimes a document can be devastating — can ruin lives and change history — even if it doesn’t really exist.


September 9, 2014

Documents that Changed the World: The Star Spangled Banner turns 200

The flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write what would become "The Star Spangled Banner," shown on display at the Smithsonian's National Museum of History and Technology, around 1964. Many pieces were cut off the flag and given away as souvenirs early during its history. A linen backing, attached in 1914, shows the original extent of the flag.

Information School Professor Joe Janes takes a look at “The Star Spangled Banner” for his Documents that Changed the World series.


July 8, 2014

Documents that Changed the World: Rules of Association Football (soccer), 1863

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Joe Janes explores the rules of “an ancient and sometimes dangerous game, now generally regarded as the most popular sport in the world.”


June 10, 2014

Students mine history for their own Documents that Changed the World installment

Joseph Janes, associate professor in the Information School, is starting a new podcast series called Documents That Changed the World.

Undergraduates working with University of Washington Information School Professor Joe Janes looked to American and European history for their own installments of Janes’ podcast series, Documents that Changed the World.


May 8, 2014

Documents that Changed the World: Airline ‘black box’ flight data recorder, 1958

David Warren, with his prototype of a flight data recorder.

Recent headlines sadly explain why Joe Janes chose the latest installment in his Documents that Changed the World podcast series — he’s writing about airline flight data recorders, or “black boxes.”


March 28, 2014

Documents that Changed the World: Mental disorder diagnostic manual, 1952

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Three little words fittingly kick off the latest installment of Joe Janes’ Documents that Changed the World podcast series: “Are you crazy?”


February 6, 2014

Documents that Changed the World: The Book of Mormon

1841 editon of The Book of Mormon

Joe Janes of the UW Information School discusses the famous book and its origin as part of his ongoing podcast series, “Documents that Changed the World.”


November 18, 2013

Documents that Changed the World: the Zapruder film, Nov. 22, 1963

A moment from the film show by Abraham Zapruder on Nov. 22, 1963.

He only came to get the iconic footage through a series of coincidences and later regretted what he had done. It was the last film Abraham Zapruder would ever shoot.


November 1, 2013

Documents that Changed the World: The Rosetta Stone

The Rosetta Stone in the British Museum.

The latest installment of Information School Professor Joe Janes’ podcast series takes a look at the 2,200-year-old Rosetta Stone.


September 18, 2013

Documents that Changed the World: The Riot Act, 1714

The Riot Act, circa 1714

When does a gathering become a riot? According to the United Kingdom’s Riot Act of 1714, it’s when local authorities say so.


August 6, 2013

Documents that Changed the World: Einstein’s letter to FDR, 1939

Albert Einstein's Aug. 2, 1939, letter to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

The latest installment in the popular podcast series by Joe Janes of the UW Information School is about the famous physicist being persuaded to warn FDR of a growing atomic threat from Germany.


June 14, 2013

Documents that Changed the World: Alfred Binet’s IQ test, 1905

A pencil marking a standardized test.

With students huddled over spring quarter finals campuswide, the latest podcast in the Documents that Changed the World series seems particularly timely: It’s about intelligence testing.


May 15, 2013

Documents that Changed the World: ‘What is the Third Estate?’ 1789

The cover of the French pamphlet "Qu’est-ce que le Tiers-État?'

Joe Janes of the UW Information School reached back two centuries to pre-revolutionary France for the latest installment of his podcast series, “Documents that Changed the World.”