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The Australian National University's ArtServe is fascinating to explore. Users find digitized images for nearly ten thousand art works along with presentations on architetural topics and access to thirteen WWW databases on related cultural topics. Librarians, scholars, and patrons will find this resource useful for reference work, scholarship, and browsing as well as a wonderful introduction to the possibilities of such technologies.
Access to ArtServe via WWW on Mosaic is straightforward. Telnet access through a public WWW point is available but slow with no ability to view images. Navigation through the files presents few difficulties due to its excellent organization.
The thumbnail images include 2800 reproductions of prints produced from the fifteenth century through the end of the nineteenth century and 2500 images of classical architecture and architectural sculpture origination from the Mediterranean area. By January 1995, the file will obtain an additional 3000 images of European sculpture and architecture from classical times through the nineteenth century. Print images are accessible through indexes covering artist (allowing for access to prints or information without prints,) subject, and technique. The sole difficulty encountered was viewing text for the print's history without images. Also available is a matching file for Islamic architecture covering building type and site with images and by country and site with and without images.
Accompanying these sources are four text and image presentations on the Palace of Dioletica, contemporary Hong Kong architecture, classical architecture in Turkey, and an electronic book on Greek and Roman cities in Turkey. ArtServe closes with a section called EXPO from the Library of Congress that provides access to electronic presentations on the Vatican Exhibit, Soviet Archives, the 1492 Exhibit, the Dead Seas Scrolls, and the paleontology Exhibit. Additional links are available to files at the Krannert Art museum, the Dinosaur Exhibit at Honolulu Community College, the Electronic Visualization Laboratory at he University of Illinois, Ansel Adams photographs, Mount Wilson Observatory and the Janson Project.
This resource provides a wonderful introduction to WWW and hypertext technology as well as a valuable reference source for a wide range of purposes. It also serves as a model for future electronic tools. ANU ArtServe deserves the attention of all varieties of librarians.
Stephen L. Hupp
Public Services Librarian
Capital University Library
October 20, 1994