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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: December ::
LION
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.2303  Monday, 8 December 2003

From:           Gabriel Egan <
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Date:           Friday, 5 Dec 2003 15:02:17 -0000
Subject: 14.2296 LION
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.2296 LION

Stuart Hampton-Reeves wrote,

>My point about the inefficiency of image capture has
>been entirely misconstrued (my own fault for not
>recapping my original argument)...

Right you are, Stuart--points taken.

>The BSA has been brought into this discussion several times.
>A project to produce text files of all known Renaissance
>Drama texts is exciting - there is plenty of room on the BSA
>server if anyone wants to have a go. I would start by being
>very nice to Gabriel Egan and persuading him to
>donate his impressive database of Renaissance plays at
>http://www.gabrielegan.com/nsdd/db.htm and then create
>links to (or even an archive of) all existing and freely available
>plays on the web, of which there must be close to a hundred.

What I've got in the Non-Shakespearian Drama Database (NSDD) is
information ABOUT the extant plays 1567-1642, culled (with
Chadwyck-Healey's permission) from LION and fleshed out from such
sources as Harbage's Annals and recent scholarship. I coordinated the
team of people (all SHAKSPERians, I think) who sent in the data in
batches.

What I don't have is the full-text of each play, only a link (achieved
by working out LION's numerical filing system) from each NSDD record to
its respective full text within LION.  This deep link works only if the
user is looking at NSDD from within an Internet domain (eg, dmu.ac.uk,
where the first BSA meeting was held) that is registered as a subscriber
of LION, or else the user is able when prompted by the LION server to
provide a subscriber's username and password. (For UK students and
academics, that's usually one provided by the ATHENS authentication
service.)

Even with that limitation, I'm glad to hear that people value NSDD. It's
sorting facility certainly makes it easy to, say, look at all the plays
by one company or performed at one venue; this sort of task is quite
fiddly with paper resources or, indeed, with LION.

I'm entirely happy to donate NSDD to the British Shakespeare Association
and would love to see others extend it by including links to
freely-available texts of the plays as Stuart suggest.  However, I must
respect the labour of those SHAKSPERians who did the work of creating
the records, so if anyone who worked on it objects to this donation
please drop me a line and I'll have your records redone by someone who
doesn't object. (Ultimately me, I should think.)

Personally, I'd also like to see someone with the requisite computer
knowledge (probably MySQL and PHP) turn NSDD into a real database rather
than the 'flatfile-and-fancy-Java-applet' that it is now. I should think
that more likely to happen under BSA's wing.

Gabriel Egan

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