Home Page

Stefan's Florilegium

research-msg



This document is also available in: text or RTF formats.

research-msg - 8/5/08

 

Useful comments on doing research for SCA projects.

 

NOTE: See also the files: languages-msg, Med-Math-Sci-bib, Redacting-art, info-sources-msg, maps-msg, med-letters-msg, books-food-msg, publications-msg.

 

************************************************************************

NOTICE -

 

This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.

 

This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org

 

I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.

 

The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.

 

Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).

 

Thank you,

   Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at florilegium.org

************************************************************************

 

Date: Thu, 24 Oct 1996 18:45:29 -0500 (CDT)

From: "I. Marc Carlson" <LIB_IMC at centum.utulsa.edu>

To: ansteorra at eden.com

Subject: Re: A & S standards

 

<Stefan li Rous<"Mark Harris" <mark_harris at riscgate.sps.mot.com>>>

>While I would like to hear your definitions and contrasts between all

>five of these and particularly the last two, we can take this to email

>unless you think others might be interested.

<PUG<Richard Bainter <pug at interval.net>>>

>I'm interested, and think others would be as well. Although I have

>concepts of what these are, I don't know what others think they are, nor

>the proper definitions. (Which I can of course look up, but doesn't tell

>me what others think they are.)

 

Since I have two on-list, and one off-, in favor of more spouting of

opinion :), and one of those is the guy running the place.  

 

Ok, as I learned this way back at the Pompous Academy, a "Primary"

source is the item in question that you are study.  A Secondary source

is one step removed from that item.  A Tertiary source is a further

remove than that.

 

For example, if I were going to discuss Medieval Shoes, if I had

access to a REAL Medieval shoe, that would be a Primary Source. A

photograph, or a detailed description of that shoe, would be a

Secondary source.  Someone relating what someone ELSE had to say about

that shoe would be a Tertiary source (This is the real reason for asking

for citations...  Unless you are a recognized authority in something or

other, and have explored that topic on your own, all you are likely to

be doing when relating "facts" is to be quoting what other people have

said about it, and as anyone who has ever played the "telephone game"

should be able to attest to, sometimes minor details can dissapear -- and

when enough minor details dissapear, the message becomes garbage.

 

(BTW, my shoe site is, with regards to actual medieval shoes, a Tertiary

source (at best); although it can be considered a secondary source regarding

making shoes that resemble medieval shoes, or shoes in a style I believe

resembles a Medieval one (since I *have* done that); and a primary source

(one of many, most of which are IMO better) if you were doing a study on

the various levels of scholarship on the 'Net.)

 

Let's look at this another way.  We have in this Society what has been

referred to as the "ubiquitous Viking Women's Tabard".  Not terribly long

ago, Gunnora made a reference to this on the Historical Costuming List,

and pointing out that this was an erroneous interpretation.  My wife, fussy

costumer that she is wanted me (she would have done it herself, but she

is still without email) to find out on what sources Gunnora had used to base

this statement.

 

(Note that this was not a criticism of Gunnora or her scholastic integrity,

but for something like this, had Talona simply *accepted* someone else's

word would have been inexcusably sloppy without some idea of WHY that other

person had made such a statement.)

 

Gunnora cheerfully supplied some sources most of which we immeadiately

placed InterLibrary Loan requests on.  We have now started to look at

the first of these, and what it appears has happened was that these

dresses were first excavated [Primary Sources]; they were described in

print by the Archaeologist, and the experts they consulted with [Secondary

Sources].  However, these were in German, and when these sources were

first quoted in English [Tertiary Source] a significant error crept in,

transforming the wraparound dress style to be described as a front and

back tabard.  Until recently, all of the costuming works that described

the dress in English, were based on that flawed tertiary source, which

means that (if this is the correct sequence of events, something I will

be able to state with more conviction when the German works we are

waiting on come in) everyone who made an outfit, basing their work, in

Good Faith, upon the work of THEIR sources runs the risk of looking

pretty stupid, or feeling like they look stupid.  (BTW, if you simply

take MY word for it, you are running a great risk, since I have no idea

at this point if the mistranslation hypothesis is supported by the original

German materials).

 

Are you seeing a pattern here ?  :)

 

I. Marc Carlson, Reference Librarian    |LIB_IMC at CENTUM.UTULSA.EDU

Tulsa Community College, West Campus LRC|Sometimes known as:

Reference Tech. McFarlin Library        | Diarmuit Ui Dhuinn

University of Tulsa, 2933 E. 6th St.    | University of Northkeep

Tulsa, OK  74104-3123 (918) 631-3794    | Northkeepshire, Ansteorra

 

 

Date: Thu, 24 Oct 1996 20:33:46 -0500 (CDT)

From: "I. Marc Carlson" <LIB_IMC at centum.utulsa.edu>

To: ansteorra at eden.com

Subject: Re: A & S standards

 

<Stefan li Rous<"Mark Harris" <mark_harris at riscgate.sps.mot.com>>>

>What is the difference between "Primary" and "Principle" sources? Or

>did I miss something in your explantion, Diarmuit? (Like a second

>message :-) )

 

I left that part out since I was starting to rant and froth at the

keyboard.  I'm better now, and will get to the other part of the topic.

Now, assuming the jargon I described to you is accurate, what is wrong

with the following statement: "I made these shoes using _Shoes and Pattens_

as my primary source"?  *Technically* there is nothing wrong with the

statement, so why are all those academics sharpening their quills with

their grinding teeth?  The problem is that *since* "primary" is a jargon

term for the "original" item, and its meaning of "principle" or "major"

comes second to that (see which definition comes first in the dictionaries),

the use of the term, while technically accurate, can often sound like an

illiterate jargon usage (for example, would you be caught dead saying that

"my car is my main mode of transmission"?).  Yes, the "problem" such as

it is, is with the anal academics (and I speak as somebody that the term

"my primary source" drives insane).

 

In short, by asking the question that way, I was intending to emphasis

the difference in meaning between "Primary" and Primary (we won't even

DISCUSS "primary").  I was asking if people knew the difference between

the jargon term and the simple English word that means the same as

Principle...

 

Diarmuit

 

 

Date: Wed, 02 Dec 1998 13:04:17 -0800

From: Mary Haselbauer <slaine at stlnet.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Documentation resource

 

I would like to recommend a book from my art history days.

 

Art Information: Research Methods and Resources 3rd edition

Lois Swan Jones.  Kendall/Hunt Publishing 1990

ISBN 0-8403-5713-3

 

I'm guessing that there is a more recent edition that

includes internet stuff.

This book is great! It has information about planning

searches, bibliographies, museums, citation and resources.

It's intended for all periods of art research but it has

a section on the middle ages and renaissance.

Extremly valuable are the mini dictionaries of art terms in

German, French, and Italian.

Cheers,

Slaine

 

 

Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2001 11:24:23 -0500

From: rcmann4 at earthlink.net

Subject: Inter-Library Loan ( wasRe: Fwd:  RE: SC - Portuguese Cookbook)

 

And it came to pass on 7 Mar 01, , that Stefan li Rous wrote:

> OCLC??? RLIN??? Awk!!

>

> If one of the many librarians on this list would be willing to write

> a short overview article on using ILL (Inter-Library Loan) to do research,

> or how to use library resources in general for this, I'd like to have

> such an article for the Florilegium.

 

I am not offering to write an article, and I'm not sure if I'm really

qualified to do so.  I don't work in a university library, as some of

my colleagues on the list do.  I don't have access to OCLC or

RLIN, which are databases of the holdings of academic and major

public libraries.  I am a reference librarian in a medium-sized

suburban public library.  As such, I am probably typical of the

librarians that SCAdian researchers are likely to deal with, if they

don't have easy access to a university library.

 

Here are a few tips.  I am going to assume that you already have a

specific book in mind.  (Identifying specific titles in one's area of

interest is a whole article unto itself.)

 

1. Ask if your library has the book that you want.  You might be

pleasantly surprised.

 

2. Ask for an inter-library loan.  If the answer to question #1 is "no",

librarians will not always offer an ILL, even if one is possible.  

Depending on the library, that may mean dealing with the same

librarian, or going upstairs to the ILL department, or coming back

on Thursday, because Mrs. Doe is the only person who knows how

to do ILL.

 

3. Give as much information as possible about the book -- author,

title, publication date.  The ISBN (if any) is usually helpful.

 

4. If you need a particular edition/translation/volume, say so.  If you

only want the Flower and Rosenbaum translation of Apicius, tell

the librarian.  Otherwise, you may wind up with Vehling, or a copy

of the untranslated Latin text.  If you care about format, say so.  

Will a photocopy of pp. 27-35 do, or do you need the whole book?  

What about microfilm?

 

5. Ask about borrowing fees.  Sometimes there is one, sometimes

there isn't.  You may be asked to specify a fee limit.

 

6. Be prepared to wait.  An ILL request may take several weeks to

produce results.  Remember that your local librarian cannot make

the book arrive any sooner.  Once he/she has sent in the request,

it is out of his/her hands.

 

7. Be aware that the loan period is set by the lending library.  Two

weeks may not be long enough to study "The History of Pre-

Modern Ruritania", but complaining to your local librarian won't

help. You can ask about renewals, but don't be surprised if the

answer is "no".  Or, as I sometimes tell patrons when they

complain, "Their book, their rules."

 

8. When the book arrives, treat it with care and respect, and be

sure to return it promptly and in good condition.  "Lost book" fees

for out-of-print titles can be astronomical.  Repeated problems may

cause your local library to cut off your ILL privileges.  Repeated

problems may cause a research library to cut off your local

*library's* ILL privileges.  ILL is a system of organized cooperation,

and if a certain library feels that the system is being abused, it can

tighten the restrictions on what it will loan, and to whom.

 

9. Be nice to your local librarian.  Theoretically, every patron gets

the same level of service.  In practice, librarians are human beings,

and are likely to go a little further for people who treat them nicely.  

Joe Grumpy will get the ILL he asks for.  Jane Smiley will get her

ILL, but may also get unsolicited recommendations on other useful

books, or an offer to search a relevant database for more

information.

 

Lady Brighid ni Chiarain

Settmour Swamp, East (NJ)

 

 

Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2001 16:54:29 -0800 (PST)

From: Huette von Ahrens <ahrenshav at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: Inter-Library Loan ( wasRe: Fwd:  RE: SC - Portuguese Cookbook)

 

- --- rcmann4 at earthlink.net wrote:

> And it came to pass on 7 Mar 01, , that Stefan li Rous wrote:

>

> > OCLC??? RLIN??? Awk!!

 

OCLC = Ohio College Library Computer system [IIRC]

RLIN = Research Library Information Network

 

And, no, individuals don't have access to either of

these. They are inter-library computer systems, which

help libraries identify names, titles, & editions and

saves time and money with cataloging them.  My library

pays approximately $80,000 per year on our RLIN use.

 

> 6. Be prepared to wait.  An ILL request may take several weeks to

> produce results.  Remember that your local librarian cannot make

> the book arrive any sooner.  Once he/she has sent in the request,

> it is out of his/her hands.

 

And sometimes the local librarian has to ask more than

one library to borrow said book.  Said book could

already be circulating, or lost, or on the reserve

shelf and not available for ILL.  Or some libraries

are very selective about the kinds of libraries they

loan out to.  I once had to wait 6 months for a book

on ILL because the librarian had to go through at

least 6 libraries before she found one who would loan

the book out.  Sometimes it just takes time.

 

Thank you Brighid for such a well written post.  I

couldn't have said it better.

 

Huette

 

 

Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2001 23:58:14 -0500

From: rcmann4 at earthlink.net

Subject: SC - Re: Inter-Library Loan

 

And it came to pass on 7 Mar 01, , that Huette von Ahrens wrote:

> OCLC = Ohio College Library Computer system [IIRC]

> RLIN = Research Library Information Network

>

> And, no, individuals don't have access to either of

> these.  They are inter-library computer systems, which

> help libraries identify names, titles, & editions and

> saves time and money with cataloging them.  My library

> pays approximately $80,000 per year on our RLIN use.

 

It is worth mentioning that the Library of Congress catalog is online

at http://catalog.loc.gov

It does not list every book in existence,and it does not tell you

what other libraries own a certain title, but it is quite useful.

Lady Brighid ni Chiarain

Settmour Swamp, East (NJ)

 

 

Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2001 09:11:40 -0500 (EST)

From: Jenne Heise <jenne at mail.browser.net>

Subject: Re: Inter-Library Loan ( wasRe: Fwd:  RE: SC - Portuguese Cookbook)

 

> Only six months, eh? Four months ago, I was notified by

> the university library that a microfilmed thesis, ordered

> through ILL, was finally in and did I still want it considering I'd

> asked for it three years before?

> One wonders.

 

Oh. Important note: getting dissertations and theses through ILL is

generally pretty tough. (Well, if you had one of only two copies in the

world of something, how would YOU feel about loaning it to a complete

stranger.) If you need a US dissertation, blow the $25-$30 and buy it from

UMI. Some ILL departments will process this for you, but if you're an

independent scholar, you'll probably have to contact UMI directly, and

maybe get your copy electronically:

http://www.umi.com/hp/Products/Dissertations.html

--

Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, mka Jennifer Heise       jenne at tulgey.browser.net

 

 

Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2001 09:14:47 -0500 (EST)

From: Jenne Heise <jenne at mail.browser.net>

Subject: Re: Inter-Library Loan ( wasRe: Fwd:  RE: SC - Portuguese Cookbook)

 

> OCLC = Ohio College Library Computer system [IIRC]

> RLIN = Research Library Information Network

> And, no, individuals don't have access to either of

> these.  They are inter-library computer systems, which

> help libraries identify names, titles, & editions and

> saves time and money with cataloging them.  My library

> pays approximately $80,000 per year on our RLIN use.

 

However, OCLC markets an 'end-user' system to libraries, called Worldcat,

which contains the OCLC holdings database but is searched like any other

index database. A very handy tool if you or some sympathetic librarian can

get access to it. (Many academic libraries buy access to Worldcat via a

subscription, which makes it economical for them to do marginal searching

which is impractical in the per-search charging model of the OCLC database

itself.)

- --

Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, mka Jennifer Heise       jenne at tulgey.browser.net

 

 

Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2001 09:58:58 -0800 (PST)

From: Ginny Claphan <mizginny at yahoo.com>

Subject: SC - OCLC

 

And it came to pass on 7 Mar 01, , that Huette von Ahrens wrote:

> OCLC = Ohio College Library Computer system [IIRC]

 

Actually it's Online Computer Library Center in Dublin, Ohio (USA). Several SCA

people work there.

http://www.oclc.org.

 

Gwyneth

 

 

Date: Sun, 04 Nov 2007 19:17:09 -0500

From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] EEBO was tisane

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

EEBO_TCP is an academic database available through libraries.

Ask if your university library subscribes to it. It can run as much $30,000

per year to subscribe so not every library subscribes. Once in, search functions

are well described. You'll also want to check out the scanned images available as part of EEBO. Also the 18th century English texts are being put up as

part of ECCO.

 

Johnnae

 

emilio szabo wrote:

> I appreciate your help very much! Of course I was excited to hear

> about EEBO-TCP and a searchable text of Gerarde 1633 etc. snipped

> Again: I would be happy to learn more about the EEBO-TCP facilities.

>

> Emilio

 

 

<the end>



Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org