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only examples from the American library community, there are: 1) the Access and Technology
Program's "Scholars Portal" of the Association for Research Libraries (ARL) which is, in essence,
a portal to portals,
10
2) the "Internet Portals Interest Group" of the Library and Information Tech-
nology Association, a division of the American Library Association,
11
and 3) the "Portals Appli-
cations Issues Group" of the Library of Congress.
12
The latter group provides much valuable
information in the form of an annotated list of portal vendors and products. Academic libraries
in Europe have also been very active in portal research.While library portals seek to manage and
manipulate vast amounts of information in a plethora of formats, an emblem portal, which is in
essence a subject portal, would do well to look to these ambitious projects for impetus in its con-
ception and design.
K i n d s o f Po r t a l s
Chris Awre and Alicia Wise provide a succinct overview of types of portals - shallow and deep -
for libraries, institutions, and commerce.They also present models for portals being developed in
the UK - subject, data-format, and audience portals.
13
The latter terms are of interest to scholars
developing emblem portals as they help to clarify our thinking about what a portal is, what com-
prises its audience, and how information is viewed.Awre and Wise define a subject portal as one
which "will provide access to content and resource types across a subject area" - such as emblems,
for example.A data-format portal "will provide access to information according to the format of
the data being accessed," such as geospatial data and images.Again, an emblem portal could pos-
sibly be defined as a data-format portal, presenting high quality images together with their texts
in a single searchable interface.They define audience portals as "a means of providing informa-
tion to user communities within H[igher] E[ducation]...".The community of emblem scholars
and other researchers served by an emblem portal could well be defined as such an "audience."
Awre and Wise's definition of "shallow" and "deep" portals is also pertinent to the present dis-
cussion. According to them, a "shallow portal" is a website with "links to a collection of useful
resources," while a "deep portal" accesses a "number of distributed resources which can be
searched at the same time and the results displayed."The concept of shallow and deep portals is
pertinent to what I earlier termed the development of a "bilevel" portal for emblems by the HAB
and UIUC.
Th e E m b l e m Po r t a l
The definition of the portal is fluid, reflecting the as yet to be determined function of the typ-
ical portal, if such a thing exists.
14
Clearly one of the prime characteristics of a scholarly website
is authority and quality information. An emblem portal is, however, much more than a home-
page with links for emblem studies, and it is also much more than a search engine for mottos and
picturae.
On a very basic level - the homepage with links - the emblem portal will offer a variety of
features useful to both emblem scholars and to those less experienced in the field of emblemat-
ics.To speak with Awre and Wise, this "shallow" portal could contain some or all of the follow-
ing features:
ˇ A brief introduction to emblems/emblem books
ˇ Links to major collections and their on-line catalogues
15
ˇ Hyperlinks between bibliographic records in institution's own catalogue and their digitized
emblem books
16
ˇ A webboard-style discussion group with a
10
http://www.arl.org/access/
scholarsportal/.
11
http://libsys.ucr.edu/dana/
infomine/IPIG/index.php.
12
http://www.loc.gov/catdir/
lcpaig/.
13
Chris Awre and Alicia Wise,"Por-
tal Progress," Library +Information
Update, 1.6 (2002): 46-47.
14
Peter Daly makes no mention of
emblem portals in his book on
emblem digitization; see Peter Daly,
Digitizing the European Emblem. Issues
and Prospects (New York: AMS Press,
2002).
15
The UIUC plans to link their
digitized emblem book to the
MARC record in the online
catalogue.
16
For example, a search on the
author,"Sophie Elisabeth von Braun-
schweig-Lüneburg, Herzogin" pro-
duces numerous hits in the online
catalogue of the HAB, one item,
Der Minervae Banquet, shows a digital
icon, and a click on the hyperlinked
title takes one to the digitized book
in their collection of digitized festival
publications: http://diglib.hab.de/
drucke/musica-fol-1-1-2- 2/
start.htm.
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