[sixties-l] Fwd: Review of NameBase in ALA journal

From: radman (resist@best.com)
Date: 11/04/00

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    >Date: Thu, 2 Nov 2000 21:59:14 -0600 (CST)
    >From: namebase@cs.com (NameBase)
    >Subject: Review of NameBase in ALA journal
    >From: College & Research Libraries News
    >       October 2000, Vol.61 No.9
    >HTML version at: http://www.ala.org/acrl/c&rlnew2.html
    >      (click on "Internet Reviews" under Departments,
    >       and then on October 2000)
    >TITLE: NameBase: A Cumulative Index of Books and Clippings
    >ACCESS: http://www.namebase.org/ or http://www.pir.org/nbhome.html
    >NameBase is an index of people influential in politics, the military,
    >intelligence, crime, business, and the media since WWII. It started in
    >the late 1960's when New Left activist Daniel Brandt began clipping
    >magazine and newspaper articles and collecting investigative books
    >about the power structure. He combed each book and article for the
    >names of individuals, groups, corporations, and countries - developing
    >a name authority file along the way. In the early 1980's, he
    >incorporated Public Information Research to continue the work.
    >NameBase includes close to 100,000 names from approximately 260,000
    >citations. The names are drawn from over 700 books and serials, plus a
    >handful of documents recovered using the Freedom of Information Act
    >(FOIA). While the index does draw from the mainstream and right wing
    >press, most books and articles come from a leftist perspective. Based
    >on the democratic concept that the people have a right to know, the
    >publications are generally investigative reports designed to uncover
    >secrets or conspiracies in high places.
    >The simplest search available is the name search. Enter an individual
    >or organizational proper name and NameBase displays a list of
    >publications and the page numbers on which the name appears.
    >Unfortunately, there is no synopsis describing who the people are or
    >why they were mentioned. There is only a brief annotation describing
    >the contents and politics of the publication. Instead, the user will
    >need to track down the original source, either at a library or by
    >ordering the material for a fee from Public Information Research.
    >Fortunately, NameBase does more than list names - it also uses data
    >mining techniques to list other names that appear on the same pages.
    >This proximity feature, available under each name as well as a
    >separate search, is the most valuable aspect of the database. If names
    >appear on the same page of an investigative report, then logic
    >dictates that the people named have some kind of relationship. The
    >database creates a social network diagram by using cluster analysis to
    >help the user visualize the data. Joseph Lieberman, for example, is
    >most closely associated with Sybase chairman Mitchell Kertzman, Jeane
    >Kirkpatrick, and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.
    >NameBase offers two other ways to search the index. The country search
    >lists names associated with a non-U.S. country during a specified time
    >frame. The document scan allows the user to submit a URL. NameBase
    >extracts names from the web page (English language only) and looks
    >them up in the index. As part of a brief tutorial
    >(http://www.pir.org/tour1.html), NameBase gives an example of looking
    >up the web page that lists the Board of Trustees at a University to
    >find out their affiliations.
    >For those who like to browse, it is useful to start on the Public
    >Information Research web page (http://www.pir.org). Browsing
    >collections include FOIA documents, essays, and the source list for
    >the index. 550 of the essays and source materials are also broken down
    >into 20 broad subject categories such as Big Business (lobbying,
    >corporations, intelligence) and Repression (federal, police). A search
    >engine is hidden within the essays and source list browsing
    >collections. NameBase offers limited access to non-registered users
    >during peak hours and periods of high load on the server. During these
    >times, users might retrieve only partial lists of names. Registering
    >by paying $49 for two years provides unrestricted access and entitles
    >the user to order photocopies or faxes of cited pages. Libraries may
    >purchase library accounts for $199 for two years that identify users
    >by IP address and eliminate the essays and editorial cartoons.
    >NameBase is most useful to journalists and students tracking down
    >investigative reports and looking for connections between names. It is
    >also useful to students looking for an alternative perspective on
    >topics like the Kennedy assassination, the overthrow of Allende, the
    >Iran Contra affair, or the CIA role in the crack cocaine crisis.
    >NameBase also provides unique access to the intelligence community,
    >boasting "the largest collection of CIA names . . . publicly available
    >anywhere in the world." NameBase is a fascinating one-of-a-kind index
    >that belongs in every librarian's repertoire of name resources.
    >The telnet version of NameBase was previously reviewed for C&RL News
    >Internet Reviews by Larry Schankman April 1996, Volume 57, Number 4,
    >Mark Emmons
    >University of New Mexico
    >   _________________________________________________________________
    > American Library Association. This document may be reproduced or
    >reprinted for educational, non-commercial use, in whole or part,
    >without permission as long as the above copyright statement and source
    >are clearly acknowledged. Neither this document nor any reproductions
    >may be sold.

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