The following is a guide to familiarize users with the inner-workings of the Electronic Literature Lab Catalog. Click on any of the topics to get started.
The ELL Catalog is always expanding, introducing new pieces of digital artwork, applications, and equipment day in and out. We are proud to state that the Electronic Literature Lab holds one of the most extensive collections of digital artifacts in the country, and is especially renowned for its eLit collection. It is important to note that these physical artifacts are only accessible through the Lab space, and cannot be uploaded in entirety to the database. As a result, this catalog is especially handy whenever one has access to the WSUV Campus. If you happen to live far away, this database will give you broad information pertaining to a catalogued item. Many of the functions described in this Help Guide are still being implemented. Any topic that has a "Work in Progress" label is not fully operational. It is our hope that these modifications will be completed by Spring 2015.
Overview This function is a quick way to find information, especially if you are not sure where to start. By selecting "Basic Search," you are brought to an area where you can input keywords and insert operators. Genre This drop-down menu features the broad eLit genres our collection houses. These include: Science Fiction, Religious, Mystery, Horror, Artistic, Hypertext, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Nonfiction, Romance, Feminist, Fantasy, Comedy, Drama, Satire, Classic, and Educational. Application This drop-down menu features the broad software categories our collection houses. These include: Game, Programmable, Update, Web Browser, Utilities, Word Processing, Graphic Design, Video-Editing, Media Players, and Education. Year You may enter a specific year or time frame you wish to observe. Use the "From" and "To" to specify a time period (in years) of interest.
Overview By selecting "Advanced Search," you are brought to a form with various fields (the default is the eLit category). This option is best for those who have prior knowledge and an idea about what they are looking for. You may utilize operators here as well. For more information about the fields featured in this form see "Searchable Fields."
Overview Boolean Operators are simple words (AND, OR, NOT or AND NOT) used as conjunctions to combine or exclude keywords in a search, resulting in more focused and productive results. Using these operators can greatly reduce or expand the amount of records returned. Each search engine or database collection uses Boolean operators in a slightly different way or may require the operator to be typed in capitals or have special punctuation. In the case of the ELL Catalog, capitalizing the adding spaces between the operators are the appropriate and required markings. AND (narrows the search) This operator requires both terms to be in each item returned. If one term is contained in the document and the other is not, the item is not included in the resulting list. OR (broadens the search) This operator specifies that either term (or both) will be in the returned document. NOT or AND NOT When this operator is used, the first term is searched, then any records containing the term after the operators are subtracted from the results. (Be careful with use as the attempt to narrow the search may be too exclusive and eliminate good records.) -- Alliant Libraries
eLit Electronic Literature (eLit) is a literary genre consisting of works created for specific digital environments. The ELL Catalog details one of the largest physical collections of eLit in the country, and is primarily utilized for accessing and discovering pieces of eLit. One of the main functions this database has been optimized to accomplish is helping individuals read certain pieces of eLit. Computers The Electronic Literature Lab hosts more than 28 vintage Macintosh computers. Each one has been housed inside of the ELL Catalog, leaving a historical blueprint, as well as a method to discern which computers can read specific pieces of eLit and/or software. Documents This category encompasses all types of documentation available in the Lab. From user guides to unique multimedia books, there are many items to browse. Software With so much hardware to store, it is not surprising that a breadth of software applications have been integrated into the Lab as well. Here you can peruse through a large collection of vintage and up-to-date programs ranging from artistic applications like MacPaint to the archaic game Transylvania.
Author The name of an author or authors involved in a piece of eLit or documentation. See "Operators" for more options. Title The title of a work or multiple works pertaining to either eLit or documentation materials. See "Operators" for more options. Publisher The name of the publisher who published either a work of eLit or a piece of software. See "Operators" for more options. Date Published The year the piece of eLit, documentation, or software application was published. Use the "From" and "To" to specify a time period of interest. Format The format the piece of eLit, documentation, or software application was distributed on. Options include: "3.5in Floppy Disk", "5.25in Floppy Disk", "8in Floppy Disk", "CD", "DVD", "Web", "Print", and "Other." Operating System The operating system a computer currently functions on, or the operating system a piece of eLit, documentation, or software application can run on. Options include: "Apple DOS 3.x", "System Software", "MAC OS X", "Windows", "iPhone OS", "iOS", and "Android." Copies The number of copies the Lab houses. This field is not necessary. Notes This section lets you add any other additional information you believe will be valid and helpful for your search. See "Operators" for more options. Model The computer model you wish to search for. See "Operators" for more options. Computer Name The nickname we have designated to each of our computers. This field is not necessary. Manufacture Date The year the computer was manufactured. Use the "From" and "To" to specify a time period (in years) of interest. Media This is a shortened version of the "Format" field. The options "Web" and "Print" are not accessible. Video Output This describes the video output of a computer model. Depending on the video output utilized, a computer may need special hardware to display on external monitors or projectors. The majority of computers in the Lab use "Digital Visual Interface" (DVI), however many of our vintage Mac's use older technologies such as "Composite video". See "Operators" for more options. Installed RAM The amount of Random Access Memory (RAM) that is available on a specific computer. RAM enables the computer to perform tasks. Depending on the amount RAM, a computer may only be able to run one program at a time or run multiple extensive applications all at once. See "Operators" for more options. Processor The processor a specific computer runs on. This piece of hardware determines a computer's speed and efficieny. See "Operators" for more options. Notable Software This section lets you input prominent software applications that are installed on the Lab's computers. This is especially helpful for locating which pieces of software are located on which computer models. See "Operators" for more options. Required Software This section refers to any software you may need in order to access certain types of documentation materials. See "Operators" for more options. Software Name The name of a piece of software. See "Operators" for more options. Creator The name of the software application creator. See "Operators" for more options. Version The software application version. See "Operators" for more options.
Overview After performing your search, the items that match your inputs will appear by default in an alphabetically-ordered list by "Title," "Computer Name," or "Software Name." To optimize and narrow your results list further, please consult the section below. Narrowing Results List Near the top of the browser window, you will find a bar filled with options that are helpful for optimizing and narrowing down your search. Using the drop-down menu, you can sort the list alphabetically by "Title" and "Author" or sort the list by "Date: Youngest to Oldest" and "Date: Oldest to Youngest." You can also check the "Website Available" box in order to only view records that have promotional websites.
Overview When you select a record on the results list, a form containing the item's information will appear. This space contains all available information on the piece of eLit, software application, computer model, or documentation item. Depending on the type of record you select, the form will organize its contents differently. Record Fields Please consult "Searchable Fields" topic for a list of all fields one can encounter when searching the database. Visit Website Close to the top of the record, a "Visit Website" button may appear. This link will take you to the items promotional site as an additional method for finding more information. It is important to note that not all records will have these links, as all records do not have affiliated websites. Life Events This module will appear if you have selected a computer model record. It is a standard timeline that details significant moments in the computer's lifetime. "Added to ELL" is a standard label, marking the year of data entry for the computer. Other life events may include shows or galleries the computer has participated in or -- in a few sad cases -- the year of the computer's death.
If you need any assistance browsing or searching through the online database or physical lab, please feel free to contact the manager of ELL: Madeleine Brookman