TITLE: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

ACCESS: http://www.oscars.org

This site provides access to a wealth of information about the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (A.M.P.A.S.), including the Academy Awards, directly from the organization itself.

Oscars.org is the start page and contains contact information and links to its two major pages: the main A.M.P.A.S. site (http://www3.oscars.org/index2.html) and the Official Academy Awards Site (http://www.oscar.com). A last update indication is not readily apparent on any of the pages. Some information, such as history and recent nominees, is repeated in both sites.

Visitors can navigate the main A.M.P.A.S. site by using the links near the top of the page: Academy Awards (features interesting "inside" information about rules, promoting guidelines and a reminder list of eligible releases), Academy Events Calendar, Contents (site map), Search (the site) and Oscar.com. There is also a link to a page featuring official Academy publications such as books and posters.

There are also three pull-down menus near the bottom of the page: Events & Services, Education & Preservation and Information. These helpful menus contain quick links to specific pages within the site such as the Margaret Herrick Library and its special collections. Unfortunately, the Library's holdings are not searchable.

The A.M.P.A.S. site currently contains two databases, and a third is "coming soon." The Academy Awards Database contains information about nominees and winners from 1927 to the present and is searchable by keyword, date or category with the useful option to display winners only. However, there is a lack of help documentation, such as the proper syntax for a name search. For example, searching "Jane Fonda" brings up Fonda, musician Jon Bon Jovi and other entries. Searching "Fonda Jane" brings up Fonda, the film Fantasia and other entries. Searching by category or date is much more straightforward. One should not count on being able to access the database at all times. An error message stating, "The Academy Awards Nominees and Winners database is temporarily unavailable due to heavy Internet traffic" appeared several times during the writing of this review. The Scientific & Technical Awards Database contains information about these awards from 1930 to the present and is searchable by year, award class, award category or keyword. Again, there is no help documentation.

The Oscar.com site is produced by ABC.com in partnership with A.M.P.A.S. and focuses on the televised awards show and the glitz, glamour and fun associated with it. Highlights include behind the scenes coverage, fashion commentary and trivia.

Oscars.org has some flaws but is still useful for film students, film historians, film fans and members of the film industry.

Samantha J. Gust
Reference/Interlibrary Loan Librarian
Niagara University Library

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