SCRIPTUM:

 

Newsletter for Bahá'í Librarians & Information Professionals

No. 8 (July 1999 - December 2001 = Rahmat 156 - Sharaf 158 B.E.)

DIGITAL ARCHIVING AT THE BAHÁ'Í WORLD CENTRE LIBRARY

A paper written by staff at the Bahá'í World Centre Library and approved for publication

Abstract:

The Bahá’í World Centre has moved into a graphics computer environment based on Microsoft products. This has allowed the Library to experiment with methods of fulfilling its mandate of being “the central depository of all literature published on the Faith…” with regards to collecting electronic or digital materials. These are items received by email, saved from the Internet, or copied from other formats. The Library attempts to work as much as possible with the tools provided as part of the Microsoft suite so as to lessen problems of incompatibility for its users. While strict archiving of the original with no changes would logically seem the goal, in reality some changes have to be made to many of the documents archived to ensure that the “experience” is emulated correctly. Potential problems of access caused by future changes of software and technology are not being addressed at this time.

Introduction:

In its letter of 31 August 1987, the Universal House of Justice spoke of the Bahá’í World Centre Library, saying that it is "the central depository of all literature published on the Faith…” 

Since its creation as a professionally run entity in 1977, the Library has been assiduously fulfilling its mandate to be an international depository library by actively encouraging all Bahá’í publishers to send the required number of published items to the World Centre. It increasingly included sound and video recordings in electronic format such as magnetic tape or disks, and computer programs on magnetic disks. As new digital publishing formats became available, such as Compact Discs (CD’s), these were also collected. 

During the 1980s the World Centre gained access to email, and Library items started to arrive in the form of emails, either as attachments or ASCII text. Such items were printed if possible, and added to the collection, or simply saved to the hard drive for future attention. 

A direct, full-time connection to the Internet was established by 1994, and access to remote locations on the World Wide Web became available through such programs as File Transfer Protocol (FTP), Gopher and Lynx. Lynx rapidly became the program of choice, and Web server software was added to the World Centre’s computing environment allowing departments and individuals to create internal Web pages. At the same time, the first networked Graphical monitors in the form of X-terminals and a few networked PC’s started to make an appearance at the World Centre. 

The Library’s first Web pages were created in July of 1995, primarily with Lynx access in mind. These Web pages were pages of links to external sites.

 During 1998, the Bahá’í World Centre commenced the transition from a character-based system to a Graphical User Interface (GUI) environment. The infrastructure and hardware was installed during late 1998 and early 1999, putting PC’s on each workstation in place of the Visual Display Units (VDUs’) previously used. At first these were simply used to access the Unix environment through terminal emulation software. 

The next stage of the Computer Technology Transition (CTT) was the roll-out of the basic Microsoft Suite - Word for word processing, Excel for spread sheets, Outlook for mail, Internet Explorer (IE) for Internet browsing, PowerPoint for presentation, and the like. By late 1999, Microsoft FrontPage for Web page editing was released to “Webmasters” in each Department so that the Intranet could be further developed. 

The Library’s existing Web was moved into the new environment and its new potential quickly exploited. However, the limitations were also quickly realised - one being the propensity for Microsoft FrontPage “themes” to suddenly run rampant over all archived Web pages, thus truly destroying their original look and feel. This was solved by creating a second Library web called "Libarchive", in which no “themes” would be used. Once this was in place, the experimental archiving of electronic or digital items began in earnest.

Methodology

A sub-directory of the Library web has been created called “Electronic Collections”. This is available from the Library’s home page (fig 1.).

Figure 1: Bahá'í World Centre Library internal Home page

This contains a number of sub-directories to the differing types of the collection (fig. 2.).

Figure 2: Electronic Collections page

Documents are saved temporarily to the C: drive of the staff member’s work station, (fig. 3.) then copied to the “Libarchive” Web server, and later deleted from the temporary location. Links to the items are placed in the Library Web pages pointing to the actual location of the item in the Libarchive Web.

The items are collected in four major ways.

1.      Received as emails and attachments

2.      Saved individually from the Web

3.      Saved as an entire web site or sub-site from the Web.

4.      Copied from other formats.

1. Email or email attachments.

Many Bahá'í newsletters are being received by email. The actual formats vary from simple ASCII text, to HTML, to attached Word Processing document in Word, WordPerfect or similar programs, to Portable Document Format (PDF) files and Microsoft Publisher files . Working within the Microsoft Suite has allowed ASCII newsletter and HTML newsletters containing images, to be opened in through Microsoft Outlook Web access and saved as HTML files. When copied to the "Libarchive" Web server, and linked to from the Library Web, the user clicks on the link, and the document is seen as though viewed through the Outlook Web access mail system.

Figure 3: Temporary subdirectory on the Local Disk.

Attached word-processed documents are saved in their native format to the temporary sub-directory on the C: drive. If their native format is not Word, an attempt is made to open them, convert them to the current version of Word and re-save them. The converted format is then copied to the Web server so that the local user will have easy access as Microsoft’s Internet Explore will simply open Microsoft Word documents. The original format is lost unless it cannot be converted in which case it is saved to the Web Server “as-is” awaiting future developments.

A number of back issues of newsletters saved in the years prior to the advent of the GUI environment remain. These need to be copied to the Web server and linked appropriately.

2. Saved individually from the Web.  

Many Web-based items, such as online versions of newspapers, are saved using IE’s inbuilt “Save file as” function. This function saves the web page in one file, and any images visible on the page (which exist on the same server as the page being saved) in a subdirectory with the same name plus the addition of “*_files” (see fig.4). 

The links to images imbedded within the main file being saved are all re-written during the “save as” procedure to point to the images located in the sub-directory. Both the files and the sub-directory are then copied to the “Libarchive” web server, and linked to from the Library web page. Users then see the web page largely as it was seen on the day it was saved, except for any advertising windows that point to locations outside of the original server. These continue to work within the archived environment, but point to whatever advertisement is being shown there on the day the user is viewing the archived document. If the company or server offering the advertiser disappears or changes, these links degrade and are replaced with blank boxes. Similarly, links within the main page that point to other locations continue to point to the external location and degrade over time. 

Figure 4: Web pages saved using IE's save file as function

Files are organised by date within a subdirectory for each online resource, by virtue of a naming convention such as: 

Africa_Online/ 

    2000/ 
            08_27_files 
            09_15_files 
            01_07_files 
            
    2001/ 
            01-16_files 
            01-19_files 
            02-12_files 
    Etc. 

If an item is withdrawn from the collection, it and its associated “*_files”, are deleted from the “Libarchive”, as are the link from the Library’s web page. 

3. Entire Web sites or sub-sites saved from the Web

One desirable outcome is to save “snapshots” of Web pages produced by Bahá’ís, especially those produced by institutions of the Faith, on a regular basis. To this end a free program called WebStripper was downloaded. This program allows the user to enter the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) of the desired web site, set some desired parameters, then “strip” the entire site (within the pre-set parameters) to a pre-determined sub-directory onto a local or networked hard-drive. The saving procedure can take a number of hours depending on the speed of the connection. 

The architecture of the original Web site is maintained but not all items are saved correctly, e.g. Java applets cause some problems. 

Figure 5: "Web Stripper” being used to archive the Australian Bahá'í Community's web site 

Saving snapshots of web-sites on an ongoing basis will provide future researchers with information about the level of expertise of communities, and the technology at their disposal, in much the same way that the quality of paper, binding, inks and printing methods speak volumes about the capacity and ingenuity of publishers in the traditional media. 

This will naturally take large amounts of computer memory, just as saving items published in physical formats take large volumes of shelving space. 

4. Materials digitised from other formats. 

When computer diskettes are received containing published items, the diskette is copied to the network drive as a form of long-term conservation. The diskettes or CD’s themselves degrade over time, and are likely to be “orphaned” as the technology required to read them are abandoned. When saved to the network drive they then become part of the current system which needs to be migrated forward with each update in computing software. There is no guarantee that this will succeed, but it is felt that there is a greater chance of future access being possible by following this path than by attempting to remember to retrieve and migrate the documents on diskettes. 

Programs on diskettes such as early versions of Multiple Author Refer System (MARS), which rely on certain hardware and software configurations, have not yet been copied to the network. Even if they are copied, it is highly unlikely that they will work, so all that will remain for future historians are “fingerprints” of that earlier publishing endeavour. 

No systematic process is in place to digitise existing published items, but if a copy of a printed item is scanned during the course of daily work, a copy is placed on the Web server so that it will be available to all. The Library will initiate such action when particular topics are “hot” (such as that of “Epochs” in January 2001). By providing access to items in digital form, the Library hopes to head off multiple requests for photocopies. 

Web radio broadcasts are a particular challenge. Due to constrained resources it is necessary to block access to streaming audio and video sites during World Centre work hours. Software capable of saving such files has not yet been brought into the institutional environment. To date, three BBC programs mentioning the Faith have been saved by individuals by taping it from the air, or from the BBC web site on home PCs. These tapes have then been digitised by an individual using free software and saved on the “Libarchive” web. “Screen Shots” of the BBC pages on the days were taken and saved as image files on the web. FrontPage’s picture editing function was then used to create a “hot-spot” on the image that would link to the digital sound file. 

In this way the experience of users listening to the BBC Web-broadcast has been emulated to a certain extent. 

Access 

Access to the electronic collection is currently limited to users at the World Centre. However if the experiment becomes standard Library procedure, a decision will be made as to whether or not to open the collection (or parts of it) to the world through the Library’s existing public web page1

Other National Library experiments 

According to a session given at the 66th Annual General Conference of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (Jerusalem, August 2000), there are two major ways that other National Libraries are attempting to save Web based publications. 

1. Download and archive all web pages ending with the National county code [e.g. *.se for Sweden] thus saving a "snapshot" of the Country's Web at stated intervals for future researchers to "mine". This entails the hope that future software will still be able to read it when it is needed. [Cf. Sweden - The Kulturarw3 Project - The Royal Swedish Web Archiw3e - An example of "complete" collection of web pages2 ]

2. Use standard library collection development guidelines to analyse the Web and selectively collect items deemed to be of lasting value. This entails both the commitment of future resources to migrate items through future software generations so that they are always available to researchers [c.f. Australia - the Pandora Project3 ], and the commitment to continue to analyse the collection and weed those items whose value has diminished, per standard library practice. 

Deposit Libraries (e.g. Library of Congress, the British Library, Bibliothèque nationale de France) require huge amounts of shelving [LC - 850 km4 ] and will continue to do so. Now in addition, they are requiring huge amounts of computer space to fulfil their mandates 

"To retain in perpetuity a copy of all material published ... in order to ensure that [the people] will have access to the accumulated knowledge, activities and achievements ... in all forms of human endeavour" [c.f. Pandora Project] 

This conference session was both a source of hope and despair. Hope, that the pressure of researchers using the world's major libraries will ensure that backwards compatibility in software will be a demand supplied by commercial interests. Despair, that every day published items about the Faith are being lost because the limited resources of the world's only Bahá'í deposit library curtails our ability to search, find, analyse, save and catalogue Web based publications. 

Conclusion: 

The future International Bahá'í Library will be the world's leading Library institution. In order to build the electronic collection for that future library, the Bahá'í World Centre Library needs to move towards a combination of these two philosophies: 

1. All domains including the word "bahai" to be downloaded at stated intervals. 

2. All Web pages mentioning the Bahá'í Faith or individual Bahá'í to be analysed and those deemed of lasting value to be saved. 

Achieving these ends will require increased resources in the years to come - technical, financial, and especially human - in the form of intelligent, imaginative, experienced and devoted graduates of Library and Information Schools from around the world.

--------------------------------

Notes:

[1][1] See: http://library.bahai.org
[1][2] See: http://www.ifla.org/IV/ifla66/papers/154-157e.htm
[1][3] See: http://www.ifla.org/IV/ifla66/papers/174-157e.htm
[1][4] See: http://www.loc.gov/today/fascinate.html

“WORLDS OF GOD” INDEX:
THE LIFE'S WORK OF MARIAN LIPPITT CONTINUES

The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States appointed a National Reference Library Committee in 1951.  Among its duties was the creation of a master index of the Bahá'í writings for the National Spiritual Assembly's use.  Marian C. Lippitt was the prime mover in creating an indexing-classification system for verses from the Bahá'í writings .  She used a system outlined to her a decade earlier by Emogene Hoagg .  Hoagg had studied directly with 'Abdu'l-Bahá and Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl-i-Gulpáygání, and served Shoghi Effendi.

Lippitt's proposed indexing method was approved by the National Spiritual Assembly.  Lippitt herself performed most of the indexing until her death in 1984, creating a very large card index of verses from the Bahá'í writings.  Half a decade later, a group of interested Bahá'ís discovered the index stored in a basement at Green Acre Bahá'í School.  Several Bahá'ís formed a non-profit foundation – The Foundation for the Investigation of Reality – to preserve the paper files as an archival resource of the National Spiritual Assembly, to develop a computer database of the entire idnex, and to continue the work of bringing the indexing forward to include new editions and volumes of sacred text.

The Worlds of God Index (WOGI) is a four-tiered hierarchy of organizing the verities in the writings, so that their description of “reality” can be made clear.

All existence or reality is made up of three worlds: the World of Deity or God, the World of Prophethood or Command, and the World of Servitude or Creation. These three worlds are symbolized in the Greatest Name ringstone symbol. This is the first tier. 

Each world has “subjects” which comprise it. For instance, the World of God branch has only one subject, which is Deity itself.  The World of Command contains several subjects, such as:  Will of God, Cause of God, Holy Spirit, and Manifestations of God while not incarnate.  The World of Creation is made up of many subjects, such as:  mineral, vegetable, animal, and human kingdoms, time and numbers, and all the places the soul can traverse after separation from the physical body. This is the second tier.

Each subject has characteristics, the total of which describe that subject's entire reality. Examples of characteristics of a given subject:  its names, its objectives or purposes, its powers (which can be used to achieve its purposes), its attributes (nouns which describe it), its actions (verbs which describe what it does).  This is the third tier. 

Each characteristic contains specific examples of that subject/characteristic combination.  A specific example of the subject/characteristic combination “Deity:name” is “The All-Knowing. ”   A specific example of the subject/characteristic “human soul:objective” is “to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization.”  This is the fourth tier.

The indexed characteristics of each verse in the Bahá''í writings are noted in an abbreviation for the hierarchical relationship of various levels of the “reality” explained in the verse. In its computerized form, each part of the hierarchy is searchable at any level, and can be sorted at the level the user wishes to search.

Readers will say, “But we already have MARS and Immerse.  Why create this index?”  MARS and Immerse search text.  If you wish to search for names of God, you can search on (“NAME?” AND “GOD”).  You will then retrieve every instance where the words “name” or “names” and “God” are near each other in the texts.  How do you find all of the names of God?  How do you find those verses where God's names are referred to as “divine appellations”?  An index uses standard language and abbreviations to make all of this information accessible in a way that text searching cannot do.  Every verse that refers to the names/appellations/titles of God/divinity/deity/Universal King/Creator etc., including every specific name attributed to God, will be indexed in the WOGI under D:name (where D=Deity).

Indexing of the Bahá'í Writings came to an abrupt halt with the death of Marian Lippitt in 1984.  Additional works by Bahá'u'lláh remain to be indexed.  All of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's and Shoghi Effendi's works still need indexing.  On books which have already been indexed, the citations frequently refer to out-of-date editions.   These need to be updated.

Some of the index cards are unfiled.  Some of the indexing is still on worksheets.  Of these indexing worksheets, done by other indexers, some were checked by Lippitt.  The Foundation for the Investigation of Reality, which has possession of the Index, knows that some index cards and indexing are not yet in its possession.

The Foundation has in its possession numerous indexing instructions which can be used to teach the indexing process, to complete the Index.

The other major aspect of this project is computerization of the Index.  This is currently happening, but is a slow process, given that there are approximately 300,000 index cards to be computerized.

For more information about this project or the work of the Foundation for the Investigation of Reality, or to express your interest or support, you may contact the coordinator of the computerization process, J. Michael Kafes, at justme@writeme.com, or The Foundation for the Investigation of Reality, 195 Main Street, Eliot, Maine 03903, U.S.A.  Tel. (207) 439-8532

The Worlds of God Index: An Introduction, by J. Michael Kafes, is a detailed description of the index.

HARVEST OF LIGHT:
A Private Research Library on the Bábí & Bahá'í Religions

30 Miramar Avenue
East Patchogue, NY 11772
Tel. 631-289-6619
E-mail. HOL92@aol.com

FACT SHEET
June 2000

Mission

Harvest of Light is a library dedicated to research and education.  It seeks to make available a wide range of materials on the Bábí and Bahá'í religions.  It promotes independent investigation, insight into constructive patterns of moral and ethical behavior, and dialogue and fellowship among peoples of diverse backgrounds and beliefs.  A resource for the scholar, student, and speaker, Harvest of Light is actively involved in obtaining and preserving books, pamphlets, periodicals, journals, papers, dissertations, manuscripts, audio visual materials, and Bahá'í relics and memorabilia.  It is sponsoring the Long Island Bahá'í History Project, an ongoing attempt to collect materials and oral histories about the Bahá'í Faith on Long Island, NY.

Organizational Structure

Harvest of Light is a private library.  Solely independent in character and spirit, it is not affiliated with any governmental, commercial, civic, educational or religious organization.  Management is the task of the director, John McNair.  Assistance is also received from Bahá'í librarians, archivists, educators, family, and friends.  All staff work as volunteers, including the director.  Funding is provided primarily by the library's founders, John and Marie McNair, as well as by the support of friends.

Facilities

Harvest of Light is located in a small, one-room cottage.  The library has approximately 6,000 items, among which are hundreds of rare and out-of-print books and pamphlets.  In addition to the materials on the Bábí and Bahá'í religions, it houses a collection of basic books on the world's religions, contemporary spiritual/religious movements, beliefs of primitive societies, and general reference materials.  

Of Special Note

1)  Harvest of Light has a substantial collection of books and photocopies of works by Professor E.G. Browne, Oriental Studies, University of Cambridge, as well as books by A.L.M. Nicolas, Comte de Gobineau, and A.G. Tumanski.

2)  The collection of 19th-century books which refer to the Bábí and Bahá'í religions is becoming a unique source of materials.  Foremost in this collection is Persia and the Persian Question by George N. Curzon.

3)  The Long Island Bahá'í History Project encompasses materials specific to the history of Bahá'í presence on Long Island (1914- ).  This collection is particularly rich, including originals, photocopies, and photographs revealing the earliest traces of Bahá'í activity on LI.

4)  Among some other treasures is a voice recording of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, several books signed by prominent Bahá'ís, and original letters from such Bahá'ís as Louis Gregory, Madame Khan, Lua Getsinger, and Arthur Pillsbury Dodge.

A copy machine, fax, computer with internet services, and audiovisual equipment are available to patrons on a limited basis.  The facility is humidity controlled.  It has various security precautions in place, and there is a program of pest control.

All materials in Harvest of Light are for REFERENCE ONLY and are not permitted off premises.  The Library is free and open to all.  At present there are no public hours of operation.  Access is by APPOINTMENT ONLY.  Patrons are expected to follow the rules posted while using the facility.

History

Harvest of Light was founded in 1992 by John (retired photographer) and Marie McNair (elementary school teacher), long-time residents of Long Island, New York.  It represents thirty years of diligent work towards the fulfillment of their vision of establishing a learning center.  The impetus for their vision stems, in large part, from their personal beliefs.  Both are members of the Bahá'í Faith which stresses the independent investigation of truth and the oneness of religion and humanity.  In the spring of 2000, Harvest of Light narrowed its focus from "A Research Center on Religion and Philosophy" to a more manageable library on the Bábí and Bahá'í religions.

Donations

If you wish to support Harvest of Light with donations of materials, financial aid, or to volunteer your time and talents, your help would be greatly appreciated.  Make checks payable to Harvest of Light.

The Future

Harvest of Light has taken steps to ensure that the library will remain intact and be available for research into the future.  Efforts will be made to heighten awareness of this research facility outside the Bahá'í community, and steps will be taken to promote its use by the public, educators, and the media.

Plans to continue acquiring research materials will ensure that Harvest of Light will remain one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of its kind in the area.

News

Harvest of Light has been acquiring materials on 19th-century Persia.  These reference materials are a valuable source for the cultural context of the Bábí and Bahá'í religions.

Efforts are underway to increase the Persian and Arabic writings from the Central Figures.  Donations and/or advice would be deeply appreciated.

At recent visits to Yale, Princeton, and the University of Virginia, rare Bahá'í related materials were located and copied.

Recently, an alarm system was installed, adding additional security for the collection.

Donations of materials and funds reflect the growing awareness of the importance of the library.

LONG ISLAND BAHÁ'Í HISTORY PROJECT

The Long Island Bahá'í History Project is an effort to collect and organize materials related to the history of the Bahá'í community in the Long Island, NY area.  To date, Harvest of Light has sponsored the following activities: 1)  Extensive research at the US National Bahá'í Archives 2) Continuing collection and identification of published and non-published materials which refer to the history of the Long Island Bahá'ís 3) A series of oral interviews with long-time Bahá'í residents of Long Island 4) Tracing of personal archives materials, when possible, of prominent early Bahá'ís of the area, most notably A. P. Dodge.

Any information or materials related to the following  individuals would be much appreciated:  Arthur Pillsbury Dodge, William Copeland Dodge, Wendell Phillips Dodge, Elizabeth Ann Dodge, Irene C. Holmes, Josephine Clark, Frank Clark, Mrs. Otis T. Hathon, Frank E. Osborne, G. Herbert Rich, Alma Krueger, Marion C. Hotchkiss, Mary Hotchkiss, Helen Hotchkiss Lielnors, Mr. & Mrs. T.H. Vaughan.

THE IRISH BAHÁ'Í MID-WEST BOOKSHOP:
A TALE OF TWO CLASSIFICATIONS

By Peter Wise, Shannon, Ireland. (Email: wise@iol.ie).

What are classifications for? Why does a Bahá'í Bookshop need one? Which one? How sophisticated should it be?

If we take the reason for a book classification at its simplest, it is to so that a reader can find the right book, the right 'sort' of book. We call this "browsing" and nowhere would this be more in evidence that in a bookshop - in particular a Bahá'í bookshop.

Equally, Bahá'í bookshops have one feature that most others don't - they move around - to Summer Schools, to National Teaching Conference; in fact to wherever Bahá'ís gather in numbers. It is essential that the display tables be laid out quickly and easily, yet in a manner that "like is with like" and the browser is not hindered from seeking the (possibly vaguely conceived) object of his or her search.

This problem calls for a simple, shallow classification and because it is mainly for Bahá'í books, the Writings must be first (in the order Bahá'u'lláh, The Báb, 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Shoghi Effendi and the Universal House of Justice).

One such classification is that inherent in Eunice Braun's book "A Reader's guide: the development of Bahá'í literature in English" (GR, 1986) and, indeed, it was a variant of this that the Bahá'í Bookshop in the Mid-West of Ireland used initially. One reason for modifying the classification is that it had a separate section (near the end) for "Art Editions" of the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, so that, for example, an illustrated or illuminated "Seven Valleys" would not be found with other copies of the Seven Valleys. Another reason was that the Association of Bahá'í Studies section did not appear to take account of Associations of Bahá'í Studies in parts of the world other than North America (e.g. The Association of Bahá'í Studies - English Speaking Europe).

However, the attraction of this classification was that it is not too complex and we already had a database with most of the Bahá'í books in the English language on it.

This database had been developed (by March 1990) in order to classify all books in the library at the Belgian Bahá'í Centre. The database contained all books shown in Braun's book, plus any others in the English language found in Brussels and provided a basis to classify the books there in all four main languages: French, Dutch, English and German. Translations of the same book would each share a "generic edition code" based on the first three significant initials and with derived variants (e.g. extracts) having a related code, so that a full version of "Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era" in any of the languages might be BNEaa, a booklet based on it BNEab, whereas BNEba might be just be another book whose title abbreviated to BNE. The database contained the quantities of each book in the library and the books were shelved according to the classification. However, I never got to actually printing cards for the books before leaving for a new pioneering post in Ireland and it seems that lack of computer expertise in those that took over the project ensured that the database was never actually used. (If anyone could still use this 1990 four-language database as a basis, please let me know and I'll look it up).

The Irish Mid-West Bahá'í Bookshop is run by my wife, Anny, and myself (with the assistance of a local Bahá'í youth) from our home in Shannon, Co. Clare, Ireland. All the books are taken to large regional and national events of two days or more duration on the western side of Ireland whereas we use the stock from the National Bahá'í Centre in Dublin for events on the eastern side of Ireland and a selection may be taken to shorter events.

The "Braun Classification" could be useful when books were on the shelf (in our house), but was time-consuming to lay out on tables at an event and its complexity went "over the heads" of most readers in the bookshop environment who were just looking for something "interesting" to buy, without much clarity as to the sort of book they required.

So, Anny and I put our heads together with members of the National Book Committee and tried "reinventing the wheel". The result (what we call a "Browser's Classification") gains in ease of use (for both sellers and buyers) what it looses in academic rigour. It is shallow, but intuitive and so it is a good pragmatic solution to the problem of the bookshop on the move. Certainly, we get fewer questions from Bahá'ís at Summer School as to where a particular sort of book might be found.

A selection of the bookshop's books (and a few selected "AV" items) using the classification can be viewed on the Web at

Bahá'í Mid-West Bookshop Catalogue
http://www.iol.ie/~wise/bahai/books/index.htm

Comments from professional librarians, booksellers and others would be most welcome.

Peter Wise,
Shannon, Ireland.

BAHÁ'Í BIBLIOGRAPHIC DATABASE AVAILABLE ON CD-ROM:
Includes Collins Bibliography

William P. Collins is the author of Bibliography of English-Language Works on the Bábí and Bahá'í Faiths, 1844-1985 (Oxford: George Ronald, 1990).  He has a database, in ProCite 5.0 format, of over 22,000 bibliographic records, which includes all the entries in the printed volume, plus several thousand additional items, almost all in English. These include records for:

bullet

All works cited in Bibliography of English Language Works on the Bábí and Bahá'í Faiths, 1844-1985, including many revised entries

bullet

Additional books, pamphlets and periodicals about the Bahá'í Faith, 1844 to the present

bullet

Additional books and articles from non-Bahá'í journals that refer to the Faith from 1844 to the present

bullet

Entries for individual articles in most major Bahá'í periodicals (World Order, Journal of Bahá'í Studies, Bahá'í Studies Review, Herald of the South, etc.)

bullet

Selected internet resources in electronic online journals

bullet

Selected audiovisual materials, compact Disks, etc.

bullet

Selected materials in European languages.

The database is available on CD-ROM for a license fee of US$75, plus $12 for annual updates.

The licensee will also need to purchase ProCite 5.0, which is available from http://www.risinc.com at retail, or from other software vendors at a reduced price. Prices at university bookstores are lower for those with student IDs.  This is a powerful bibliographic database software for creating records, managing bibliographic citations, and creating bibliographies.  It costs about $350 retail, but it can be obtained from academic software sellers for about $110 if you are student or faculty in an educational institution.  Buy.com sells it for about $175.  EndNote, another popular bibliographic software package by the same company, can import a comma or tab delimited file exported from ProCite.  EndNote costs about the same as ProCite.

The CD-ROM of the database is available from the editor via the contact address at the end of this issue.

The database was previewed and described in a session of the Association for Bahá'í Studies annual conference in Seattle, Washington on 1 September 2001.

Editorial Contact

William Collins
6819 Stoneybrooke Lane
Alexandria, VA 22306 USA

Scriptum on the Web:
http://www.bcca.org/librarians/Scriptum/

Email:
wpc09@hotmail.com

©William P. Collins, 2001

Permission is granted to reprint or excerpt, provided that proper credit is given.

Created September 2001