New Access to Experian’s Credit Data Reports

business_research-400x300Our ABI/INFORM database now has access to the Experian Commercial Risk Database, containing over 40 million credit data reports for both private and public companies, allowing researchers to see details such as contact information, size, industry, MSA, sales range, business type, bankruptcy information, credit risk, and more. These reports are full-text with coverage from December 10, 1980 to the present.

ABI/INFORM can be found under recommended databases on both the Business/Economics and Accounting/Auditing library research guides.

To find these reports, search ABI/INFORM for a company (e.g.“Ford Motor company”), then limit to reports (or limit further to just experian reports under publication title).

FindingExperianReports_ABI-INFORM

For more info on the new content, see the announcement on ProQuest’s blog.

Life in the Digital Woods: Walden, A Fluid Text Updated

[See our update post on the Digital Thoreau blog too!]

A Recap: What is Walden: A Fluid Text?

Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 12.50.31 AMOur Fluid Text edition of Walden gathers eight years and seven versions of the American masterpiece using the Versioning Machine tool and Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) mark-up. Want the modern edit of the masterpiece?– we also have the 1971 Princeton University Press edition, reproduced with permission. Readers can see the definitive version foremost (with or without our notes, easily toggled off for a clean read), and then view the older workings of the novel. Easily presented side-by-side, readers can wade time’s river in order to view the evolution of Walden as Thoreau honed it over the years. We’ve encoded the textual changes down to the word based on the scholarship of Ron Clapper. A simple click on the text will highlight the cross-edition variations; all the grunt work has been done for the fascinated student of Thoreau, and now further opportunities for scholarship are available with this publicly available text. Coders, too, can step behind-the-screen to see our TEI mark-up and XSLT. The Fluid Text edition of Walden takes the confident and singular challenge Thoreau gave us long ago even further through the field of digital humanities, and studies of encoding and authorial evolution:

It is not all books that are as dull as their readers . .  .

The Upgrade

With the release of the newly updated Walden: A Fluid Text comes plenty of detail, and quite a few major features. SUNY Geneseo’s Fluid Text team has worked primarily to clean up and edit the text, and to work on a new face for the project. Various bugs and textual errors reported by ours users have been amended, and we used this data to forecast how we wanted to improve the webpage for this update, and this is what we’ve done.

Our Walden: A Fluid Text Data Dictionary has been updated, so now TEI experts and novices alike can view the substratum of encoding mark-up–  the usage of TEI elements and attributes, as well as definitions and further usage tips. On a similar note for coders and the curious, our XSLT source code is now available [ziptar.gz].

Support for Thoreau’s journal notes (added by Dr. Paul Schacht’s “Literature and Literary Study in a Digital Age” course students) are now available in our work as Notes studded throughout the text. These journal notes were the earliest conceptions of many famous thoughts and passages found in Walden, jotted down by Thoreau years in advance. If you want to take a look at the student work and how this was done through scholarship and various coding methods for this semester-long undertaking, head over here.

In our polishing, we’ve also overhauled the graphical qualities of Walden: A Fluid Text. Stylistic textual rendering has been tweaked, and the distinctive tables in Economy, the inaugural and often mathematical chapter, are reformatted for easier understanding. Currently, individual columns in the versioning machine layout can now scroll independently of each other as well, so that reader’s can compare different sections of Walden at once.

What’s Next

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 11.47.34 AMOur Fluid Text, as the name suggests, is always changing, and we have many more features in mind. In keeping with the possibilities of digital tools, and TEI in particular, we have a planned revamp of the website interface to gild our look with a simplicity inspired by Walden itself. Dr. Paul Schacht plans on involving students in this project through further work in his Digital Studies course. A new users manual is planned to accompany the new look. Special attention will also be paid to accessibility on tablet screens, for scholars who want to read Thoreau in the library and woods alike.

No wonder that Alexander carried the Illiad with him on his expeditions in a precious casket. A written word is the choicest of relics . . . 

 

Picture Perfect! Teaching with Picture Books

picturebooksThe adage “A picture is worth a thousand words” rings especially true when talking about picture books. Anyone who has browsed through bookstore or library shelves can attest to the fact that a compelling photo or illustration on the cover may entice us to pick up a rather dull sounding book. We may ask ourselves “Why is there a skull and crossbones on the cover”, or “what is that woman thinking, swimming with that shark?”

In addition to making texts more appealing the artwork in picture books can make it easier for readers to make sense of the accompanying (sometimes complex) text. This can be particularly helpful to classroom teachers who are looking for ways to introduce complicated or controversial topics to their students.

Milne Library has a large collection of picture books on various subjects and themes such as: geometry, human impact on the earth, disabilities, grief, and acceptance. Using picture books to introduce these topics can help both the teacher (making it easier to cover difficult to understand content) and the students (may engage them with content they normally wouldn’t choose).

All children’s picture books are located on the lower level of the library in the Teacher Education Resource Center (TERC). A few new titles, with summaries (from the catalog/book jacket), are listed below. For help on locating these books visit this site or contact the education librarian, Michelle Costello ([email protected]).

Titles:

  • Bats on Parade by Kathi Appelt — “On a midsummer’s night the Marching Bat Band makes a rare appearance, its members grouped in formations that demonstrate multiplication from two times two up to ten times ten.”
  • A Boy and a Jaguar by Alan Rabinowitz — “The renowned cat conservationist reflects on his early childhood struggles with a speech disorder, describing how he only spoke fluently when he was communicating with animals and how he resolved at a young age to find his voice to be their advocate.”
  • Cloud Spinner by — Michael Catchpool “When the king orders a boy to make him a huge wardrobe out of the clouds in the sky, the boy warns him that it is more than he needs but the king does not listen.”
  • Half a World Away by Libby Gleeson — “When Louie’s best friend Amy moves to the other side of the world, Louie must find a way to reconnect with her.”
  • House Held Up by Trees by Ted Kooser– “Built on a treeless yard by a family who cleared away all the sprouting trees on the property, a house is eventually abandoned and left to deteriorate on a lot that is gradually overrun by wild trees, in a poignant tale of loss, change, and nature’s quiet triumph.”
  • Same, Same, but Different by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw — “Pen pals Elliot and Kailash discover that even though they live in different countries–America and India–they both love to climb trees, have pets, and ride a school bus.”
  • The Tin Forest by Helen Ward– “An old man’s persistent dreams transform a garbage dump into a forest full of life.”
  • Varmints. Part One by Helen Ward & Marc Craste — “When tall buildings and loud noise drown out the sounds of bees in the grass and birds in the sky, one soul cares enough to start over again and help nature thrive.”