9.146 Future Networking Needs

Humanist (mccarty@phoenix.Princeton.EDU)
Fri, 8 Sep 1995 09:56:42 -0400 (EDT)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 9, No. 146.
Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities (Princeton/Rutgers)

[1 ] From: George Welling <welling@let.rug.nl> (74 )
Subject: Re: Future networking needs (fwd)

[2 ] From: "Peter Graham, Rutgers University Libraries" (12 )
Subject: Re: Future networking needs (fwd)

[3 ] From: Maunu H{yrynen <hayrynen@csc.fi> (74 )
Subject: Re: Future networking needs (fwd)

Date: Fri, 8 Sep 1995 09:06:58 +0200 (METDST)
From: George Welling <welling@let.rug.nl>
Subject: Re: Future networking needs (fwd)

the Internet (IMHO) will become one of the main resources for historians: it
will take some time, but the advantages will outweigh the disadvantages.
At the moment it is a complete chaos: if you are a historian where would you
start searching, if you were looking for something? There are a number of
web-sites that provide a good starting point (HNSource, AHC a.o), but there is
no cooperation between the two. Every day another history student with access
to the WWW starts his own "special history site": chaos is only growing.
What is needed is cooperation: at the moment an enormous amount of work is
only doubled, we need a division of labour in a joint effort to make
historical resources on the net easily available for all historians. There is
no sence in starting another web-site with nothing else but links to other
sites: that has been done. What we need is sites that will provide data-sets,
historical articles, projects, book reviews, education material, unpublished
papers etc. At this moment it seems like we are having two thousand city-maps
for a village of just a few houses! We need more houses and people who live
The great advantage ofcourse is easy access to historical resources, which has
it advantages for educational purposes as well as for research. Soem other
possibilities: long distance learning, permanent learning, help by specialists
from allover, international projects (without the travel expenses!!).
Disadvantages: dependence on high quality hardware (expensive), the need to
learn skills which seem to have no direct relation with the historical
discipline, the volatility of information on the internet, the lack of status
of internet-publishing (just to mention a few).

These are just a number of unstructured thoughts that popped up, but maybe you
can structure them.

See you.

| George M. Welling       || welling@let.rug.nl      fax: + 31 50 63 49 00 |
| phone:  +31 50 63 54 74 || department of ALFA-INFORMATICA Faculty of Arts|
| History & Computing     || University of Groningen, The Netherlands      |
|                         || http://www.let.rug.nl/~welling/welcome.html   |

--[2]------------------------------------------------------------------ Date: Thu, 7 Sep 95 9:59:16 EDT From: "Peter Graham, Rutgers University Libraries" Subject: Re: Future networking needs (fwd)

From: Peter Graham, Rutgers University Libraries Doug Greenberg, former vice-president of the American Council of Learned Societies, and now Director of the Chicago Historical Society, a couple of years ago spoke broadly on this topic. In his view one of the great desiderata for humanists on the net was texts: information. Convert the full runs of the great learned periodicals into machine-readable form. Supply the images and texts of the significant works in the arts and humanities in network-accessible form.

Also essential are the tools for working with such materials (TEI/SGML, NIDR tools, searching and analytic tools); but the prerequisite is the texts.

Peter Graham psgraham@gandalf.rutgers.edu Rutgers University Libraries 169 College Ave., New Brunswick, NJ 08903 (908)445-5908; fax (908)445-5888 <URL:http://aultnis.rutgers.edu/pghome.html>

--[3]------------------------------------------------------------------ Date: Thu, 7 Sep 1995 18:18:15 +0300 (EET DST) From: Maunu H{yrynen <hayrynen@csc.fi> Subject: Re: Future networking needs (fwd)

Dear Donald,

I am an art historian doing research on the symbolic landscapes of Finland. I have found Internet to be an irreplaceable aid in my work, and seem to find new uses for it almost every day. I mostly use E-mail and Gopher as well as direct telnet access to library databases. I also subscribe a number of mailing lists and contribute to them regularly. There is no other way I can imagine to obtain a world-wide response to some specific question in real time. It is also the ultimate means to maintain connections with colleagues in and outside Finland; sometimes even the only working connection, as is the case with several Russian universities. I am also currently setting up a mailing list for Finnish researchers dealing with landscape.

Due to technical problems I am for the moment unable to use WWW by Mosaic, and it is not very user-friendly if accessed by a character-based programme. The Usenet newsgroups were valuable in the beginning, but have multiplied far too much and contain too much garbage, college-level jokes and chatlines to be used efficiently. I do not have the time to screen the newsgroups to locate the interesting ones. Mailing lists work better, although one needs patience and luck to find the right ones. I probably should spend more time to learn how to use the system (and to get better connections, for starters); no doubt it would pay off in time.

I have managed to establish a number of scholarly contacts through the Net, which otherwise could have been possible only by extensive conference travelling (that will, of course, follow in the next phase). I do not think I could do without it anymore, and the only negative thing I can be forced to point out are the phone expenses.

Feel free to elaborate your questions, if the text above did not provide the kind of reply you wanted.


Maunu Hayrynen Helsinki U. of Technology Finland hayrynen@finsun.csc.fi