Thursday, November 05, 2009

History Computerization Project

The History Computerization Project aims to create a network for exchanging historical information. The site includes details about the computer database program for historical research, writing and cataloging; advice on organizing materials; and links to mostly-US research resources.

From the site:

The program is used by individual researchers as well as by institutions such as archival centers, libraries, museums, historical societies, historical landmark commissions, and preservationist groups. Single-user and multi-user versions, running on IBM PC compatible computers, bridge the gap between the researcher and repository, allowing them to exchange data easily.

History Database was designed for use by organizations and individuals at the lowest possible levels of computer experience. The program presents on the screen all of the information that a novice will need. Easy data entry, editing, and searching are accomplished by filling in a form or making choices from a menu. Searching with a menu or by example eliminates the need to learn search commands. Sound searching retrieves names with variant spellings. While adding, editing, or browsing data you can flag records to pick up later as easily as putting an adhesive tab on a file folder.

Ready-made data entry forms allow you to start immediately, with help messages to explain the intended usage for each field. You can easily choose which of the fields provided you want to use, and in what order. Or you can construct new fields and forms.

Default choices eliminate 50-90% of the typing for data entry. The program determines the most likely entry and offers to you as an initial choice, for you to accept or to change. Many fields are filled in automatically. Others re-use data entered previously.

Variable-length fields give you as much room as you need and avoid wasted disk space. The data entry form changes dynamically on the screen to expand a field. Any field can stretch over many screen pages. All fields are searchable with or without indexing.

For research and writing, never waste time re-typing data from note cards to manuscript again. Instead pull your research notes from the database into your word processor in first draft manuscript form, with footnotes and bibliography created automatically.

History Database provides fully relational database management. It relates and combines data from several files, rather than repeating the same information. It offers 25 varieties of global search and replace, to correct past mistakes or to change the content, structure, or format of old data. Individual values within a field, such as the names of people or organizations, can be searched and replaced as separate entities. A researcher can recycle information from one project to the next, using past research as a business uses its inventory. In a repository, those with more knowledge can quickly correct the work of those with less.

1 comment:

albix said...

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