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Archive for May, 2010

L’année philologique gets a facelift

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Home page of l'annee philologique

Home page of l'annee philologique

L’année philologique continues to resolutely remain ten years behind where the rest of the web is, but there are some substantial changes in addition to the new paint job.

The big news: L’année will now include notices of articles and other works prior to their appearance in the print volume at the end of the year in a special tab next to search results called “Interim Records”. A few sample searches show results from as recently as last year (!). I mock, but this is actually a big change from the print edition, which has traditionally run about three years behind the current date. There is a current list of new material added, updated monthly. But there is no convenient way to get notice of this, other than to visit this page. (I’ll see if I can come up with a solution for this over the summer). One minor nuisance: interim records can be printed, emailed, or saved…but not sent directly to Refworks.

Annee Results

Interim records displayed on results pages

A few minor additions:

  • users can set up an account to keep track of searches and save results between visits (that’s 99% of what you get if you set up an account)
  • there is a modest increase in the number of forms you can export citations in (text, PDF, Refworks file, Refworks direct export)
screenshot of preferences panel

screenshot of preferences panel

Changes to the search interface

The underlying structure of the database appears not to have changed, but some of the mechanical difficulty of doing a search has been decreased.

  • Limit by language in Advanced Search (sadly this is limited to English, French, Italian, Spanish, and German–no Bulgarian or Czech). Go to “Advanced Search” and select the “Filters” menu at the bottom
Advanced search screen with location of search filters

Advanced search screen with location of search filters

Questions or concerns? Let me know.

BBC Shakespeare Online

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Tisch recently added a streaming video collection of Shakespeare’s plays as produced by the BBC in the late 70’s and early 80’s. You can find them in the library catalog under the title of the play or as a group under BBC Shakespeare Plays.

They are available 24/7 from anywhere, although the usual rules for off-campus access apply–you need to add a URL prefix to make sure you’ll be asked to log in if you’re off campus. You can link to each of the plays act by act. So, for example, here’s Julius Caesar, Act III (et tu, Jumbo?).

What To Do

2. Get the proxy prefix:

2. Grab the URL from the bottom of the viewing window. In this case, if you take the URL from the usual place URLs live and add the proxy prefix it will work. Frequently, with other resources, this is not the case and you’ll have to look for a permanent or durable or stable URL (see below).


3. Paste step 2 onto the end of step 1 with no spaces, and copy that into your email or Blackboard:

This is the basic procedure you’d use to send a link from any of our electronic resources to a colleague or to post to your Blackboard site. Unfortunately, the directions for each of our electronic sources are slightly different. Here’s a complete list of how to get a usable URL.

What’s Going On or, Why The Extra Step?

The first part of the URL sends the request for the website through a library computer which checks to see if the person making the request is on campus. If so, it lets him/her through. If not, it asks her/him to log in. That way we can keep the publishers happy and still provide relatively easy access from anywhere with an Internet connection.

If you have questions about how to do this, or trouble linking to electronic resources generally, let me know. I am officially the guy to ask.

(Chris Strauber)

Paul Theroux Says You Have No Excuse

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

From an interview with Paul Theroux in The Atlantic:

TA: Does the migration to e-readers increase access to good stories or diminish it?

PT: Greatly increases access. I could not be more approving. But free libraries are full of books that no one reads.

via Fiction in the Age of E-Books – Magazine – The Atlantic.

Theroux comments that literature has always been an interest of a “tiny minority of people, even in the most literate societies”. Which I more or less agree with, although I’m happy to provide excuses to increase the numbers.

We have about thirty of Theroux’s works at Tisch, most travel-themed. For more on travel literature (one of my favorite genres), try the Cambridge Companion to Travel Writing or (one of many) the Encyclopedia of Women’s Travel and Exploration.