3.584 queries (151)

Willard McCarty (MCCARTY@vm.epas.utoronto.ca)
Fri, 13 Oct 89 20:19:41 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 3, No. 584. Friday, 13 Oct 1989.

(1) Date: 10/12/89 20:56:52 EST (48 lines)
Subject: text comparison, Sh compositors

(2) Date: Fri, 13 Oct 89 11:06 EDT (44 lines)
Subject: A query: indexers (or reverse indexers); Goethe on

(3) Date: Fri, 13 Oct 89 09:40:32 CDT (36 lines)
From: Charles Bailey <LIB3@UHUPVM1.BITNET>
Subject: Personal Information Management Software

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: 10/12/89 20:56:52 EST
Subject: text comparison, Sh compositors

This message concerns using sequence comparison techniques to study textual
transmission, but then turns into a question about Shakespeare bibliography.
If none of this interests you, don't go any further!

I am interested in ways of evaluating the degree of similarity between multiple
versions of a text. These versions might be different manuscripts of a work,
or various printed editions of Jacobean plays. I am approaching this as a
sequence comparison problem and measuring something called string-edit distance
(or Levenshtein distance), perhaps best-known to computer scientists and

To determine if this approach is useful, I am interested in looking at
Shakespeare Folio texts that were printed directly from the authoritative
quarto text. (I have machine-readable versions of the Folio and good quartos.)
A lot of bibliographic work has been done to identify compositors in the Folio
and assess their accuracy in reproducing their copy text. I think it would be
interesting to apply sequence comparison to this same problem.

So, here's a question for any Shakespeare bibliographers out there. Are there
any particular plays in the Folio that (1) were printed directly from the good
quartos, and (2) in which the identity of the compositors is a particularly
interesting or thorny problem?

(1) seems to narrow the choice down to The Merchant of Venice, Love's Labours
Lost or Much Ado About Nothing. But (alas) the library at my current
university does not have the sort of Shakespeare collection to allow me to feel
totally comfortable with this conclusion, plus I do not have anything that
describes the most recent thoughts on compositors in these plays.

Thought I'd toss this out to Humanist before making the hour drive to Miami to
visit another library. Feel free to point me to books or journal articles.
This is rather a specific question, so perhaps replies should be made directly
to my Bitnet address, unless you think it's of general interest. I'd also be
interested in hearing from anyone with other problems that might benefit from
this approach.

Tom Horton
Computer Science, Florida Atlantic Univ., Boca Raton, FL 33431
BITNET: HortonT@servax
^---< please note the `T'!!!!
PS Oh, by the way, this is a nice application for a supercomputer. Donations

(2) --------------------------------------------------------------51----
Date: Fri, 13 Oct 89 11:06 EDT
Subject: A query: indexers (or reverse indexers); Goethe on

In this, my first active participation in the HUMANIST dialogue,
I'm wondering if anyone has had success in indexing bibliographies
by item number. I am just finishing a rather substantial bibliography
which I assembled in part with WordPerfect and in part with NotaBene.
I started initially with NotaBene in the belief that its textbase
and other publishing-oriented abilities would not let me
down. Now I find that although I can rearrange at will, use
counters at several levels, etc. that I can only reference items by
page number. Certainly the more common practice is to index by item
number, but has no software program anticipated the need. I've had
several discussions with the NotaBene people and they are unable to
supply any information which I don't already have. It's
beginning to look as if I will be spending the next month indexing
the final copy by page number and then manually assigning the item
number. I really have more faith in computers than that. There
must be a way; can anyone help?

Another quick query: I'm looking ahead to undertaking an examination
of Goethe's works (or a portion thereof) with a concordance program
in the hopes that certain constellations of words might provide
additional information on his aesthetic views (I would, by the way,
appreciate any opinions on the validity of the project--a very big
gap in a much investigated area--as I see it). The question
is "are there e-texts out there?" I am aware of something going
on in Utah in conjunction with the people who developed WordCruncher
but when I checked a while ago the Goethe texts were still promises
and the Weimar edition was not a possibility in any case (Fraktur
raises its head again, but that's another discussion). I am also
interested in knowing the equipment demands of such
a project. I know of several individuals using Bernoulli boxes;
is that the most practical way? I pretty much have to decide whether
to do the project on the local mainframe (VAX 11/780) or stick with
my XT.

Thanks for any help

Randall Donaldson
Foreign Languages and Literatures (German)
Loyola College in Maryland
450l N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21210
(3) --------------------------------------------------------------43----
Date: Fri, 13 Oct 89 09:40:32 CDT
From: Charles Bailey <LIB3@UHUPVM1.BITNET>
Subject: Personal Information Management Software

[The following has been taken from the PACS-L discussion group. Although
the question about personal information managers is asked here only of
librarians, it is a good one for the wider academic population to
consider. Comments? --W.M.]

Increasingly, libraries are giving patrons direct access to systems that
provide electronic and bibliographic/holdings information. What should
the role of libraries be in supporting microcomputer software that
allows patrons to manage downloaded information from these systems?
Does our obligation end with providing patrons with the capability to
print information or download it within the library? Should we be
involved in evaluating, recommending or managing site licenses for,
and providing training and support for this software? Should we share
this responsibity with our local computer centers, being involved in
certain types of software (e.g., bibliography software like ProCite)
but not others (e.g., text management software like askSam)?

There is a growing variety of software that can be used to manage
scholarly information: text retrieval software (searches existing text files),
text database managers (searches special textual databases), hypertext
software, text analysis software (concordances, statistical analysis, etc.),
information retrieval software, bibliography formatting software, post-
retrieval software (allows further evaluation of downloaded search results),

How have other libraries addressed this question? Are any libraries
actively involved in this area?