Date: Tue, 23 May 1995 02:42:26 GMT
Subject: ETEXTCTR Review

Date: Tue, 23 May 1995 00:09:39 +0200
From: (Michael Uwe Moebius)
Subject: ETEXTCTR Review

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Date: Fri, 19 May 1995 16:19:58 EDT
Sender: owner-etextctr@lists.Princeton.EDU
Sender: Mary Mallery, Moderator, ETEXTCTR Discussion List
Subject: ETEXTCTR Review #2

ETEXTCTR Review #2, May, 1995

ETEXTCTR Review provides abstracts of current articles from journals of
interest to those working with electronic texts in a research setting.
Volunteer contributors for this issue are: Jerry Caswell (JVC), Iowa
State University Libraries; Aurora Ioanid (AI), The Center for
Electronic Texts in the Humanities; and Mary Mallery (MM), CETH.


* Burrows, Toby. (1994). "Integrating electronic services into the
academic library: the Scholars' Centre at the University of Western
Australia." _Australian Academic and Research Libraries_ 25: 213-220.
The article examines the complexities of the process of setting up a
center for scholarly electronic resources and integrating it with the
rest of the library information services at the University of Western
Australian Library. The author emphasizes the three "major imperatives"
that govern the establishment of this center, known as the Scholars'
Center: "proliferation of resources in electronic forms," the "need to
focus on library services," and the necessity to contribute to the
collective effort to "maximise the quality of its [the university's]
teaching and research." The author addresses all the important aspects
that are involved in the process, starting with issues related to the
physical facilities, the need for specialized staff, collection
development, type of access to various databases and electronic texts,
as well as a thorough analysis of the users' needs to calculate the
level of expertise needed for operating the Center. --AI

* Day, Mark Tyler. (1994). "Humanizing Information Technology:
Cultural Evolution and the Institutionalization of Electronic Text
Processing." In Sutton, Brett, ed. _Literary Texts in an Electronic
Age: Scholarly Implications and Library Services_ Graduate School of
Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign, pp. 67-92. Day discusses issues of cultural
evolution in today's information society and the efforts made by the
modern university library to adapt to them. Indiana University's
Library Electronic Text Resource Service (LETRS) is an example of the
adaptive process. It is a cooperative effort of the library and
computing center to provide faculty and students with access to
scholarly electronic texts in the humanities and related computing
software tools. Despite organizational and economic constraints, this
"humanist's laboratory" represents a new collaborative system of the
cultural preservation of materials that embody traditional humanistic
values. --JVC

* Guenther, Rebecca. (1994) "The Challenges of Electronic Texts in the
Library: Bibliographic Control and Access." In Sutton, Brett, ed.
_Literary Texts in an Electronic Age: Scholarly Implications and Library
Services_ Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University
of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, pp. 149-172. This article addresses
special problems relating to bibliographic control and description of
electronic texts. The main issues discussed are: identification of
electronic texts, description, location and access. The author
extensively describes the earlier OCLC Internet Resources Project
Cataloging Experiment and its involvement in the study of the
possibilities of accommodating online information resources in USMARC
formats. Librarians are interested in placing data about electronic
resources in the same type of database they use for the other library
materials, that is USMARC. Consequently, the author mentions the
different proposals that emerged from this experiment, as well as from
other projects initiated by organizations like USMARC Advisory Group of
the American Library Association. Among these proposals a very
important one was the addition of the 856 field, which, in the case of
the Internet resources, would supply the connection between the
bibliographic record and the text itself. Because electronic texts are
complex objects, AACR2 rules for computer files are scrutinized in an
attempt to identify better ways of describing the various forms in which
an electronic text can appear. In the end, the author discusses the
misconception that SGML would replace USMARC and defines their different
functionalities. --AI

* Harrison, A.D., Roos, F.A. & Thomas, R.E. (February, 1995).
"(Semi)automatic capturing of bibliographic information from journal
contents pages for inclusion in online library catalogues: the RIDDLE
Project." _Electronic Library_, vol. 13, no. 1: 15-19. --MM A summary
of the RIDDLE (Rapid Information Display and Dissemination in a Library
Environment) Project (available on the Web at
<> and at
< &gt [As of 5/17/96, this site
appeared to be down];, an international endeavor
funded by the Commission of the European Communities' (CEC) Telematics
Research and Technological Development Programme. The project involved
"a feasibility study of the use of scanning technology to capture the
contents pages of scientific journals, extract the bibliographical
information of the article and load this data into an online library
catalogue (OLC)." There are tables of the SGML tags chosen for this work
as well as a sample of results of marking a particular journal, and
consideration of how easily SGML translates into the different catalogue
interface packages in the European countries. Also included are
formulas for computing the cost effectiveness of such a project. --MM

* Hockey, Susan. (1994). "Electronic Texts in the Humanities: A Coming
of Age." In Sutton, Brett, ed. _Literary Texts in an Electronic Age:
Scholarly Implications and Library Services_ Graduate School of Library
and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, pp.
21-34. This article provides a brief historical account of the progress
of electronic texts in humanities research as well as a concise overview
of applications in literary computing, "including concordances, text
retrieval, stylistic studies, scholarly editing, and metrical analyses."
The author reviews developments in electronic texts today and the steps
forward in text preparation that the Text Encoding Initiative's
_Guidelines_ make possible. Finally, the author looks to the future of
texts marked up in TEI-conformant SGML and the development of better
analysis tools that take advantage of the expertise of natural language
understanding systems, as well as digital imaging technology.

* Johnson, Eric. (1994-1995). "Oxford Electronic Text Library Edition
of the Complete Works of Jane Austen," _Computers and the Humanities_,
vol. 28, pp. 317-321. This review of the OETL electronic edition of
the Complete Works of Jane Austen provides an introduction to a new kind
of resource for libraries: the full-text CD-ROM of an author's oeuvre.
To demythologize this new beast, Johnson shows its face, including
examples of a page of SGML-tagged text and the same page formatted to
hide the tags. In addition, the author shows how to use such a text,
though Johnson notes that the analyses of the texts produced for his
review were generated by programs that he wrote himself; however "since
the texts are encoded with SGML, they should be able to be used with
software designed to process SGML -- such as _Intellitag_ (from
WordPerfect) or _DynaText_ (from Electronic Book Technologies)." The
article also includes sample output from a simple query looking at the
various characters' speech patterns. --MM

* Kiernan, Kevin. (February, 1995). "The Electronic Beowulf."
_Computers in Libraries_ vol. 15, no. 2: 14-15. The manuscript of the
Old English epic _Beowulf_ has long been the center of dispute among
textual scholars who would like to fill the lacunae left by the flames
of the damaging fire the manuscript survived in 1731. Now, through
digitization and the coordination of a team of experts from libraries,
computer science, math and English departments in Europe as well as the
United States, some answers are being found. Kiernan gives a quick
history and overview of the Beowulf Project at the University of
Kentucky and the British Library (now centered in the Richard Rawlinson
Center for Anglo-Saxon Studies and Research). One can view a Mosaic
presentation of the project at URL:
<>. --MM

* Lane, Anthony. (February 20 & 27, 1995). "Byte Verse: How to wing
your way through thirteen hundred years of English Poetry in an
afternoon of interfacing." _The New Yorker_, pp. 102-117. Despite its
title, this article provides more than an afternoon lark through
Chadwyck Healey's _English Poetry Database_ at the New York Public
Library. Lane is a keen observer. He speculates "on the sort of person
who would really _need_ 'English Poetry,'" and he's thinking past the
joy of follow-that-theme to its implications: "Once you have a printout
of your sleep-meets-death findings, the onus is then on you, as never
before, to wonder what on earth they might mean; the computer hasn't a
clue." Lane's analysis of the database includes a short history from
idea to actual transcription (in the Philippines). Also, he notes what
poetry is available on the disk, as well as what's not (this is his
list, others might add to it): no Shakespeare plays, no hymns published
after 1800, no American poetry, and no verse from this century.
Finally, you might read this article to experience the view from inside
the heads of the novice user of tools for electronic text access. --MM

* Lowry, Anita. (1994). "Electronic Texts and Multimedia in Academic
Libraries: A View from the Front Line." In Sutton, Brett, ed. _Literary
Texts in an Electronic Age: Scholarly Implications and Library Services_
Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of
Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, pp. 57-66. Acting on the premise that
both graduate and undergraduate students could benefit from exposure to
electronic texts and hypermedia databases that link primary source
materials, the University of Iowa Library created the Information
Arcade, which consists of an electronic classroom for instructor
directed learning and a laboratory. The laboratory includes an
information stations cluster for viewing preexisting information
resources and a multimedia cluster for the creation and manipulation of
electronic material. Experience with various classes suggests that all
participants, including undergraduates, are strongly motivated to do
research and to create materials. Problems include the multiple and
proprietary platforms of some databases and the demands on staffing that
the creation of source materials requires. --JVC

* Mathiesen, Thomas J. (1994). "Transmitting Text and Graphics in
Online Databases: The _Thesaurus Musicarum Latinarum_ Model." _Computing
in Musicology_, 9: 33-48. (MM) This article provides a full description
of the _Thesaurus Musicarum Latinarum_ (TML), "an evolving database that
will eventually contain the entire corpus of Latin music theory written
during the Middle Ages and the early Renaissance." It is a unique model
for electronic text transmission because the database includes musical
notation as well as ASCII text, so that the choice of graphics formats
and a transmission protocol with the least amount of corruption was
paramount. Mathiesen documents the decisions for data capture and
verification with OCR software as well as the delivery and structure of
the database through a gopher server
<gopher://>, a listserv, TML-L (subscribe
through, and an ftp site, TML-FTP
(available at ftp, password is "themulat"). The Appendices
contain the "Principles of Orthography" for the database as well as the
"Table of Codes for Noteshapes and Rests." --MM

* McMahon, Kenneth. (March, 1995). "BUBL BITS: Investigating the
Computers in Teaching Initiative (CTI) WWW Services." _Computers in
Libraries_ vol. 15, no. 3: 53-54. There are twenty subject-oriented
CTI centers in the UK, each of which supports the use of computers in
teaching at the higher education level. The electronic resources of
each center are available on WWW servers and accessible through a common
interface (the BUBL WWW Subject Tree at URL:
< (inactive 6 May 2004), which is
located at the University of Bath. Resources include reports, bibliographies, full
text journals, and courseware. --JVC

* Olson, Nancy B. Cataloging Internet Resources : a Manual and
Practical Guide. OCLC Computer Library Center, Inc, c1995. Available
via anonymous ftp at URL:
Nancy Olson's manual for cataloging Internet resources represents the result
of a collective effort directed toward the identification of AACR2 and
USMARC capabilities to describe the specificity of Internet resources.
Originally, it was initiated within a "... nationwide, coordinated
effort among libraries and institutions of higher education to create,
implement, test, and evaluate a searchable database of USMARC format
bibliographic records, complete with electronic location and access
information, for Internet-accessible materials." These guidelines have
been developed in support to the OCLC project participants undertaking
the difficult task of cataloging a new type of bibliographic resource
located on the Internet in the form of electronic texts. --AI

* Price-Wilkin, John. (1994). "The Feasibility of Wide-Area Textual
Analysis Systems in Libraries: A Practical Analysis." In Sutton, Brett,
ed. _Literary Texts in an Electronic Age: Scholarly Implications and
Library Services_ Graduate School of Library and Information Science,
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, pp. 113-136. After
recounting early efforts at Chicago, Dartmouth, Michigan and Virginia,
Price-Wilkin identifies and discusses the fundamental characteristics of
wide-area textual analysis systems: very precise searching at high
speeds, the ability to show keywords in context and to qualify searches
by structural characteristics, statistical generating capability, and
grammatical analysis. To be useful in a wide area environment, texts
must be reusable, observe standards for encoding (i.e., SGML, TEI), and
be accessible from multiple user platforms. While an increasing number
of texts are available from both academic and commercial sources, some
are compromised by the choice of edition used, limited markup, poor
transcription, or the lack of flexibility in licensing. Open Text
Systems' PAT is evaluated as a server platform that meets many of the
needs of a wide-area textual analysis system. Examples of its use are
given at the University of Michigan and the University of Virginia. An
appendix discusses document structure and the need for protocols and a
standard query language that are aware of structure. --JVC

* Price-Wilkin, John. (1994). "Using the World Wide Web to Deliver
Complex Electronic Documents: Implications for Libraries." _The
Public-Access Computer Systems Review_ 5, no. 3: 5-21. (Or e-mail the
University of Virginia the products of several scholarly projects in
literature and history were converted into HTML so that they would be
readily available over the World Wide Web. Unfortunately HTML's
inability to reflect the structure of complex documents compromised the
efforts. Price-Wilkin found a better solution by developing a common
gateway interface (CGI) >From the Web to an SGML based server. This
provided a simpler user interface for complex information retrieval,
took advantage of a sophisticated retrieval engine (Open Text's PAT),
and enabled the elements and relationships of complex SGML encoded
documents to be represented without fragmenting them and without
abandoning the standards that were used in their creation. --JVC

* Schwartz, Lillian. "The Art Historian's Computer: Riddles Posed by
Ancient Works Fall to Historical Analyses and Electronic Explorations."
_Scientific American_ vol 272, no. 4: 106-111. By using computer
graphics to scale and juxtapose images Schwartz has been able to shed
light on the sources of famous portraits such as the Mona Lisa and
Shakespeare. She has also used computer graphics to show how certain
paintings relate to the environment for which they were created. --JVC

* Seaman, David. (1995). "Campus Publishing in Standardized Electronic
Formats -- HTML and TEI." In Okerson, Anne, ed. _Filling the Pipeline
and Paying the Piper: Proceedings of the Fourth Symposium_. ARL
Publications. Also available at URL (inactive).
David Seaman, the Director of the University of Virginia Library's
Electronic Text Center, describes his Center's project in converting
documents marked in TEI-conformant SGML into documents with hypertext
(html) markup for distribution over the World Wide Web via Pat.
The author notes the difference between documents that are suitable for
html markup
(e.g., short guides and brochures) as opposed to documents that would
require more granular demarcation of their structures (e.g., finding
aids, full texts, set of journal titles, encyclopedia, etc.). In
addition, Seaman documents how the Virginia project team embedded the
TEI header into their image files to maintain the record of the image's
origins. The html version of this article contains many links to useful
sites for creating html files, perl scripts for SGML-to-html conversion,
and html documents and image files that pertain to the article. --MM

* Sperberg-McQueen, C. M. (1994). "The Text Encoding Initiative:
Electronic Text Markup for Research." In Sutton, Brett, ed. _Literary
Texts in an Electronic Age: Scholarly Implications and Library Services_
Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of
Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, pp. 35-56. The work of the Text Encoding
Initiative (TEI) grew out of the need to address the fundamental
problems of representing and sharing electronic texts: how to represent
document structure, how to link interpretive and auxiliary information,
the lack of a standard and extensible system of markup. With support
from professional associations and research centers TEI developed a
system of SGML markup that culminated in the third edition (P3) of 1994.
P3 embodies a hierarchical document grammar, which focuses on document
structure rather than layout, defines a concrete set of tags which may
be mixed or extended as needed, and, in requiring conformance to
international standards, is platform independent and non-proprietary in
nature. A sample text demonstrates its application. --JVC

If you would like to contribute to ETEXTCTR Review or recommend an article
for review, write to Mary Mallery, Moderator of ETEXTCTR, at e-mail:

Original posting date: 
Sunday, July 30, 1995
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