9.487 e-text archives

Humanist (mccarty@phoenix.Princeton.EDU)
Wed, 24 Jan 1996 19:11:22 -0500 (EST)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 9, No. 487.
Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities (Princeton/Rutgers)
Information at http://www.princeton.edu/~mccarty/humanist/

[1] From: Jim Marchand <marchand@ux1.cso.uiuc.edu> (25)
Subject: e-text archives

[2] From: Robert Kraft <kraft@ccat.sas.upenn.edu> (26)
Subject: Re: 9.484 e-text archives, preservation

[3] From: "John M. Unsworth" <jmu2m@virginia.edu> (4)
Subject: Re: 9.484 e-text archives

Date: Tue, 24 Jan 96 10:36:55 CST
From: Jim Marchand <marchand@ux1.cso.uiuc.edu>
Subject: e-text archives

I am sure I echo everyone's wishes when I say that it would be great to have
all archives freely available. As it is, we have so many different methods
of access. One problem is finding out about their existence. CPET and
e-texts in Philosophy help out, but we need greater coverage. Methods of
access differ greatly: 1. CD-ROM (rented) for materials from Packard; 2.
CD-ROM (bought) for ICAME, Aquinas, Migne, Cetedoc; 3. telnet (Dartmouth
Dante, MHD Begriffsdatenbank); 4. institutional license (ARTFL; RLIN
materials); 5. by request (OTA); 6. ftp, gopher, www (OBI, Gutenberg,
Lysator). We do have grand web walkers, such as Labyrinth and Tennessee Bob
Peckham's French site, but I have on many occasions found things not
registered anywhere. Back in 1965, Gary Carlson of Brigham Young put out a
_Literary Works in Machine Readable Form_, widely circulated and containing
a large number of texts. Some I can trace, but about others I wonder where
they have gone.
While I have your ear, let me broach another related subject. The items
mentioned by Carlson were stored on MT (mag tape), PC (punched cards) and PT
(paper tape). Suppose I located all of them. I might not be able to read
any of them. For magnetic tape formats differed strongly in the old days; I
have some old Control Data tapes I cannot read, and I do not know their
format exactly (probably 8 [what do you call those strips we used to worry
about so?]). Who has a paper tape reader (who remembers dropping loops,
breaking and splicing, etc.), who has a card reader? We need to convert to
keep up with the technology. Away from the computer: there are archives
which have cylinders, 78s, wire, variable speed tape, etc. of precious
recordings of sound materials. Que faire?
Jim Marchand.

Date: Wed, 24 Jan 1996 00:31:08 -0500 (EST)
From: Robert Kraft <kraft@ccat.sas.upenn.edu>
Subject: Re: 9.484 e-text archives, preservation

On what to do with useful electronic materials in one's possession, I
would hope that a step in the direction of getting them to repositories
such as OTA, and elsewhere, is to put them on a WWW home page or
similarly accessible location. There really ought, for example, to be a
Marchand access point, with all the texts and other helps he has so
generously distributed over the years (many of us could contribute to
the creation of such a collection with materials we have acquired from
him) organized in gateway categories. And as discussion lists create
their home pages, hopefully those will encourage contributions (lots of
Jim Marchand's stuff should be accessible through MEDTEXTL, for
example). People need to be encouraged to participate in such endeavors,
now that wide availablilty is possible as never before.

On the cataloging of electronic texts, OTA and CETH as well as others
have sometimes tried to be pro-active, with mixed results. As Jim
Marchand pointed out, there are lots of items that were once known to be
under development or even available, but have seemed to disappear in the
meantime (scan the index to the Humanities Computing Yearbooks, for
example, or worse, look at early publications such as CALCULI). In many
instances there may be copies "around," but knowing whom to ask, and how
to evaluate what you may find, are daunting tasks. Here is another area
of possible involvement for those looking for worthwhile projects
(evaluating untested electronic materials), but as is usually the case,
there needs to be significant coordination to make it work. Our main
need, it seems to me, is for coordinators, to give direction to the
workers. I wish I had more time to test the theory!

Bob Kraft, UPenn
http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/rs/rak/kraft.html (for some possible projects)

Date: Wed, 24 Jan 1996 14:29:11 -0500 (EST)
From: "John M. Unsworth" <jmu2m@virginia.edu>
Subject: Re: 9.484 e-text archives

At the risk of pointing out the obvious, one solution to the
deliquescence of electronic text projects is...publishers.

John Unsworth
http://www.village.virginia.edu/~jmu2m/ jmu2m@virginia.edu