Nov. 28, 1994
Vol. 14, No. 7

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    Encyclopaedia Britannica available on-line

    The University Library has purchased a subscription to Encyclopaedia Britannica's new electronic data base, Britannica Online, which is designed for the World Wide Web.

    Britannica Online contains the full text of the most recent (15th) edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica as well as Britannica Book of the Year, Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (10th edition) and "Nations of the World," an alphabetical list of countries that provides instant links to statistical summaries, flags, maps and articles in both Encyclopaedia Britannica and Britannica Book of the Year.

    Britannica Online offers advanced search and retrieval capabilities. Articles may be retrieved by querying the index, by searching for specific topics or by asking questions. Articles have links to the index, to the tables of contents in long articles, to Britannica's Propaedia (a topical guide to the contents of Encyclopaedia Britannica) and to references in other articles. Once an article is retrieved, a related text can be consulted by clicking on a highlighted word in the article or by moving the cursor to the word and pressing the "enter" key.

    The data base, while fully searchable, is still under development. Encyclopaedia Britannica will continue to improve the software, expand and update texts, and add images. The number of images currently available is limited.

    Britannica Online can be accessed by University faculty, staff and students at networked terminals within the Library and from any machine on the campus network with a World Wide Web browser. Web browsers that support "forms," such as MacWeb and some versions of NCSA Mosaic, work best. Britannica provides a list of recommended configurations from its home page, in the "About Britannica Online" section. For more information regarding WWW browsers, consult the Academic Information Technologies Resource Guide, contact the computing coordinator in your department or residence hall, or call the AIT Techline (702-3111).

    To access Britannica Online with NCSA Mosaic or another browser, open the Library's Britannica Online Uniform Resource Locator (URL), http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/EB/. For those who do not have access to microcomputer-based Web browsers, the Academic Server Cluster (quads, ellis, kimbark) provides Lynx, a character-based browser. To use Lynx, enter lynx http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/EB/ at the prompt.

    The Library is currently developing help for accessing and searching Britannica Online that will be available both at the Library's Britannica Online URL and through the Library gopher, as well as in paper format.

    If you have questions about either accessing or searching Britannica Online, send e-mail queries to EB@lib.uchicago.edu or call the Regenstein Reference Desk at 702-4685.