Association of College & Research Libraries

Internet Reviews

Sara Amato is systems librarian at Willamette University, Salem, Oregon; e-mail:

Beethoven Bibliography Database. Access:telnet:// or telnet:// Login: lib. Se- lected on main menu. Select Beethoven Bibliography Da- tabase.

This is a little jewel of a bibliographic database, 3,000 records strong at present and counting. The Beethoven Research Center at San Jose State University, which op- erates administratively as a special department of the

College of Humanities and the Arts, has under- taken the project of creating an Internet-acces- sible database to provide universal access to its collection. This collection consists of com- prehensive holdings of scores, secondary lit- erature, and manuscript materials relating to Ludwig van Beethoven. Secondary literature indexed is both monographic and periodical, in all languages and for all time periods. Peri- odicals indexed include not only music peri- odicals but those from other fields such as medicine, art, and literature. The center’s net is spread as widely as possible, in other words, in the ocean of print. Recorded sound is not collected by the center, nor are there any plans at present to collect MIDI files. Center staff in- dicate that this is the largest Beethoven collec- tion in the United States.

The project has been under way for a year with NEH funding, and retrospective conversion is expected to take until the year 2004 and to result in about 22,000 records. At that point the database will be maintained with records for all new additions. Records for printed secondary materials are being created in phase one. Phase two will include first editions of scores and important early editions. The center will attempt to include records for important editions that it does not itself own with information on where they are held. The third phase will create records for the center’s manuscript collections. As with any special collection, loans of whole items are not available, but center staff will gladly photocopy for remote researchers at 20 cents per page, even from scores. A telephone number for accessing the center is included in the brief introductory information online

The database search engine is the library’s INNOPAQ public catalog and the project is well staffed so that the interface is wonderfully professional. All usual library access points are available for records and some additional ones as well. Music special- ists benefit from access to special composition num- bers, standard numbers, musical genres, and even RISM location, as well as from the ability to browse for related editions through the shelflist. Researchers from all fields working with this time period can use the en- hanced indexing to satisfy quite specific infor- mation needs, for example on Beethoven’s sui- cidal episodes, romantic relationships, or health. In addition, contents notes are being entered for documents, which consist of tables of con- tents as well as an abstract for books, and ab- stracts for articles, searchable through keyword searches of the notes field. For a multilanguage database, keyword searching has to be used judiciously, but it surely extends the user’s op- tions to retrieve references on very specific top- ics. Center staff prepared a user manual for sale this winter at a cost of approximately $40.

This is a wonderful resource, one which I hope will inspire many similar efforts on other important figures in music and other areas of the humanities.—Mary H. Kay, acquisitions/ collection development librarian, Humboldt State University;

Electronic Newsstand. Access:gopher://

Electronic Newsstand (Enews), a joint venture between the Internet Company, a provider of commercial internet services, and the New Republic, offers tables of contents and selected full-text feature articles from approximately 50 news, general interest, special interest, and academic periodicals. Using the familiar gopher menus and commands, users can browse the periodicals (in both alphabetical and subject- classified lists), read tables of contents and the full-text of some articles (current or archive), and, if they desire, perform easily executed keyword searches to locate articles. Upon selecting a periodical title, one can place a personal subscription order at special reduced rates. In the one-stop style of Freenet or a provider such as Prodigy, Enews also offers arts, entertainment, and book reviews, as well as synopses of recent selected articles in a section called “Best of the Newsstand.”

Other menu choices give information about Enews and the Internet Company and provide e-mail addresses for sending questions and comments about the services.

While clearly not large or specialized enough for in-depth literature searches, this free-to-use network resource can be used to find information on a range of topics. As more journals are added and the archives deepen, its value will grow. Designed primarily to invite browsing, it’s a great way to introduce novices to the Internet. There are network resources based at educational institutions which contain much larger numbers of full-text periodicals, notably the CICNet Electronic Journals Project (gopher:/ /, with approximately 750 titles; and the connection maintained at SUNY Morrisville to approximately 250 titles (gopher:// lgopher_rootl/ [librarydocs.electronic_ journals]). These resources do not allow keyword searching, however, and are less consistent and selective than Enews, which is the source site for all its periodical connections.

With the inevitable participation of commercial enterprises in the Internet, it is good to see one like Electronic Newsstand which seems to offer the best of both worlds—a desire to provide useful information for free, and corporate support to foster growth, development, and extra features. Enews’ plans to support mail list access to the publishers, editors, and authors of the included publications promises another step in the direction of bringing publishers and the Internet community closer together.—Joseph A. LaRose, reference librarian, University of Akron;

World Health Organization Gopher. Access: gopher:// telnet:/ / login: gopher. Producer: WHO Internet Gopher Root Server Administrator Information Technology Office (ITO) World Health Organization (WHO) Headquarters CH-1211 Geneva 27 Switzerland Health policy analysts have been given a powerful new tool in the form of the World Health Organization (WHO) gopher server. Although many areas of this server are still under development, it is already a significant information source for health policy and international health researchers.

Highlights include WHO press releases, immunization statistics, AIDS information, communicable disease incidence information, and a database of WHO documents (many of which are not available in print form).

Oriented to the health policy watcher, the WHO gopher server organizes information largely by program, although there are significant menu structures on news and the WHO itself. There is some redundancy in the server’s organization—in the press releases and some of the statistical information—but the arrangement by program can be misleading for the user who is unfamiliar with the WHO organizational structure. For instance, immunization information occurs under two different programs, “Communicable Diseases (CDS)” and the “Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI).”

Despite this difficulty (frequently encountered by gopher users), the WHO gopher server has much to offer users who are not health policy mavens. Librarians as well as policy analysts will find the WHO Bibliographic Database a useful resource for identifying or verifying a wide range of WHO publications dating as far back as the mid-eighties and including many unpublished sources. Demographers and epidemiologists will be pleased by the wealth of statistical information provided on disease incidence, immunization (mentioned previously), family planning, and tropical diseases. The only difficulty is that the tables cannot be reasonably viewed by most gopher clients but must be either sent to an account via e-mail or downloaded for viewing. Those monitoring the global AIDS epidemic will find abundant sources of information here including a searchable database of AIDS-related WHO publications.

Finally, the wealth of news information in the form of press releases, statements, newsletters, and a variety of other items will provide something for just about anyone looking for source material on current events. In total these diverse resources provide a basis for many lines of research by many types of scholars and students.—Karla L. Hahn, Internet services librarian, Johns Hopkins University; khahn@

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