ACRL

Association of College & Research Libraries

Internet Reviews

Sara Amato, editor

The Perseus Project: An Evolving Digital Li- brary on Ancient Greece. Access: http:// www.perseus.tufts.edu. Perseus, son of Zeus and slayer of the Gorgon Medusa, is an appropriate namesake for this ambitious project. This site is exactly what its title implies: an enormous, searchable collection of an- cient Greek literature, art, and archaeology.

The literature database includes more than 420 Greek texts and En- glish translations. The Greek texts (the major- ity of which are edited from the Loeb Classical Library Series) can be displayed as translitera- tions into our Latin alphabet, into standard beta code, or into the Greek alphabet. There are detailed instructions that guide users through the options. In addition to the texts, the Project offers four tools for textual analy- sis: a morphological tool, a word-frequency search tool, and two dictionaries. The morphological tool will parse a word in the text, giving gender, num- ber, and case for nouns, or tense and mood for verbs. The word-fre- quency tool displays the frequency of the word and its forms by author and then links to each occurrence in context. Definitions are from Liddell and Scott’s Inter- mediate Greek-English Lexicon and the com- prehensive Liddell, Scott, and Jones Greek-En- glish Lexicon.

The archaeological contents of the project are divided into five databases: architecture, archaeological site plans and pictures, numismatic images with transcriptions, vase images, and sculpture images. The first two are impressive in their breadth but the coin and vase databases contain images of selected collections only. The sculpture database is currently under construction. Each retrieval displays explanatory texts and links to related images within the Project, such as a summary of Apollodorus’s Library and the Project’s own encyclopedia. Perseus boasts more than 13,000 images but also has a text-only home- page for nongraphical browsers.

There is admirable con- sistency in the look and feel of the Project. Navigation between databases is seam- less and easy thanks to stan- dardized menu-like catego- ries. Moreover, search results throughout the databases are displayed in readable, appealing tables, with the cells linking to further information. Best of all, Perseus provides de- tailed instructions, cited sources, related re- sources, and authorship and copyright state- ments with each entry, database, or tool. While the Perseus Project is a Web treasure for students and scholars of ancient Greek civiliza- tion, it was not only be- neficence that spurred its creation. The site is a sub- set (about half of the im- ages and all of the texts) of the commercial Perseus Project CD-ROM. How- ever, the highly practical nature of the site, the aca- demic pedigree and extent of its sources, and the links to other resources make it a valuable supplement to print collections. A Perseus Project for Latin culture is planned as well.—Kristina L. Ander- son, University of Alabama; kanderso@ualvm. ua.edu

National Political Index. Access: http:// www.politicalindex.com.

In time for the 1996 presidential and general elections, National Political Index provides comprehensive access to Web and interest sites for political and governmental information. Sponsored by the nonprofit organization Americans Who Work for a Living, the site’s intent is to raise voter awareness through helping patrons browse diverse information sources. In turn, the group also reaches out to candidates by providing no-cost Web sites to interested individuals. This, along with its attempt to be inclusive, makes the Index a welcome addition to the many available electronic political information sources.

Sara Amato is automated systems librarian at Central Washington University; samato@tahoma.cwu.edu

Comprehensiveness is the key hallmark of the Index. Currently, it allows access to 3,500 sites divided into 32 areas. Federal, state, and local government officials and agencies appear, along with matching party organizations. It also provides access points to federal legislation, links to college and university political science departments, a complete list of politically oriented Usenet groups, electronic journals, political humor, and related resources. Especially useful for the upcoming election are links to the Dole and Clinton sites, though one obviously must be careful in using information gleaned through these.

This site draws comparison to Project Vote Smart, http://www.vote-smart.org (C&RL News, November 1995, p. 714) and one sees considerable duplication between the sites. However, the difference between the two is in philosophy of coverage. Project Vote Smart mixes Web links with the results of comprehensive issue surveys sent to state and federal candidates, attempting to obtain opinions on important issues so voters can make informed decisions. As noted above, National Political Index endeavors to link all governmental and political sites which, along with allowing candidates to create their own Web pages, offers the browser the maximum number of choices to obtain election information.

As a result, National Political Index compliments Project Vote Smart in meeting the overall goal of providing valuable election information. Academic libraries should keep each in mind to assist the public and researchers. The Web is growing as a source for disseminating government and election data, and these two sites serve as pillars to help librarians meet these needs.—Stephen L. Hupp, University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown; shupp+@pitt.edu

MedAccess. Access: disclaimer page: http:// www.medaccess.com/; first informational page: http://www.medaccess.com/home. htm.

MedAccess is a conglomeration of materials aimed at the health care consumer. The format is consistent and brings together text, databases, quizzes, and discussion groups. Content includes some original materials, but the majority derives from state, national, and international sources that are cited at both the searching and data display levels. MedAccess has several sponsors, and displays awards from Point, Six Senses, and Net Guide. Since 1995 MedAccess Corporation has used this site to bring its health promotion services to the attention of business organizations.

MedAccess has four sections with in-depth health information. “Better Information” covers consumer health; use MedAccess keyword search or its table-of-contents style index to find specific information. The full-text materials include: product alerts and warnings from the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Food and Drug Administration, organized by date and topic (child, environment, home, drugs, food); immunization guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and the Immunization Practices Advisory Committee, organized by disease; publications from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, organized by topic (seniors, physical health, mental health, children, nutrition); and U.S. patients’ rights legislation.

“Data Bank” has tabular data for the U.S. census, injury-related deaths, and health statistics; how to get vital records; and contact information for state medical licensing and disciplinary boards, and for U.S. government agencies.

“Health Care Locator” contains physician and organization databases. Physicians are listed for 28 states; search by name or city. Entry contents are from the state Licensing Board. Hospitals and other health care centers are listed for 50 states; search by name, city, state, or zip code. Entries provide comparative graphs showing size, staffing, and financial data; a list of services; and a street map.

“Environmental Health” provides a way to search Environmental Protection Agency databases for air quality (by year and by state), water quality (by state), and toxic releases (by zip code, state, and year). Maps show the regional incidence of radon and gamma rays.

Undergraduate students in health care fields will benefit most from MedAccess’ breadth of reliable resources and well-designed organization, but everyone in health care will find useful data.—Mari J. Stoddard, Arizona Health Sciences Library, University of Arizona; Stoddard @u.arizona.edu

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