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MBLEMATICA
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ERSPECTIVE
Thomas Kilton
Head, Modern Languages and Linguistics Library, Professor of Library Administration,
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, t-kilton@uiuc.edu
Abstract:
In order to attract a larger number of scholars to our emerging websites with digitized
emblems, four conditions will have to be satisfied: 1) introductory texts which clearly
define emblems; 2) easily navigable sites which immediately showcase their emblems;
3) search capabilities with uniform access points available across all of our emblem sites;
and 4) links to our sites from diverse sites across the humanities.
Keywords:
emblem, portals, audience, access points, thesauri, searching.
K
nowledge about emblems is certainly most widespread among scholars in the human-
ities. But even among these humanists, especially those who would not consider them-
selves to be emblematists, an awareness of the wealth of information inherent in
emblems, and the fact that this information has much to offer current research in so many diverse
disciplines, is apt to be limited.The participants in the working conference on Emblem Digiti-
zation at the Herzog August Bibliothek,Wolfenbüttel, well know that philosophers, artists, musi-
cians, historians, archaeologists, and theologians, in addition to literary scholars, can all derive
valuable knowledge from the study of emblems. However, in order for us to reach and attract a
larger number of scholars in these and other areas with our emerging emblem websites, four con-
ditions must be satisfied within the framework of digitization.There is as yet no single emblem
website that satisfies all four of them.They are: 1) the creation of clearer and richer introductory
texts on our sites to state the nature and purpose of the sites and to define emblems and their
complexities; 2) the presentation of easily navigable sites which immediately showcase their
emblems to the first-time visitor; 3) the provision of a search capability with fairly uniform search
access points available across all of our emblem sites; and 4) the provision of as many links to our
emblem sites as possible from a diverse set of websites and portals across the humanities, sciences,
and social sciences. Each of these four points will be discussed in turn with reference to some of
our individual sites.
Th e c re a t i o n o f c l e a re r a n d r i c h e r i n t ro d u c t o r y
t e x t s t h a t d e s c r i b e a s i t e 's n a t u re a n d p u r p o s e
a n d d e f i n e a n d e x p l a i n w h a t a n e m b l e m i s
Description of a site's nature and purpose
Ideally, each emblem site should include on its homepage or on the next subsidiary page a dis-
cussion of the purpose of the site and its nature. In terms of the site's purpose, the text should
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