Newspaper now available on-line

by Alexander R. Edlich | 5/11/93 10:00pm

Beginning this week, students will be able to access some back issues of The Dartmouth over the College's computer network.

Issues of the College daily newspaper will be posted on the Dartmouth College Information System, a diverse set of databases that students can access from their dormitory rooms.

The catch is that the newspaper editions will be available at least one week late, and not all the articles published in the newspaper will be available over the network. Photographs and cartoons will not be published on the server.

Issues published beginning in January, 1993 will eventually be available through the DCIS Navigator program. Using the Navigator program, students can access on-line resources from encyclopedias and dictionaries to weather reports and the Baker Library card catalog.

Robert Brentrup, the information system's project manager, is coordinating the project with paper's Managing Editor Christopher Johnson '94. Brentrup said having The Dartmouth on-line "is going to be a really nice resource."

Johnson said stories from the news, comment, sports and Weekend Gazette sections will be published on the Kiewit network. Some Dartmouth-specific arts stories will be added to the database, but stories from the Associated Press and letters to the editor will not be included, he said.

The back issues database "allows students instant access to the history of the College," Johnson said. "The Dartmouth is the daily chronicle of what goes on at the College. Once the project is up and running for several years, students will be able to tap into to this history and gain a sense of place."

Brentrup said the search program is very powerful. "It's very easy to reference and find stories," Brentrup said. "It's a matter to typing in a few key words."

Bound paper volumes of The Dartmouth are currently located in Special Collections and on microfilm in Baker Library. Most stories are also manually catalogued in Baker on 3-by-5 inch index cards.

Johnson said Special Collections has "narrow hours" and in order to look up stories, students have to go through the volumes. He said automating the back issues will make the material more accessible and simplify searches.

Brentrup said full texts of the articles could be referenced in a variety of ways, including headline, issue number and specific words in the text of a story.

"You can make the search as complex as you want to make it," Brentrup said. "After you've found the article, you can print it out, copy parts of it and save it."

Johnson said the project will also allow writers to "engage in more in-depth reporting and give The D's stories a stronger historical context. It enables writers to see stories not only in the present but also in the context of the past."

Currently, more than 50 different databases are available.