Monday, July 4, 2011

Thousands of new images in Cinema Image Gallery

 Just in time for summer vacation, we have updated Cinema Image Gallery with a total of 4,393 images from 831 movies and TV shows, more than 300 of which are new to the database. These additions include: 
  • Thor 27 images
  • Cowboys & Aliens 15 images
  • The King's Speech 15 images
  • The Fighter 12 images
  • Black Swan 24 images
as well as 17 images, including behind the scenes stills, from the HBO mini-series Mildred Pierce (check out the original movie also, for which Joan Crawford won the Best Actress Oscar in 1945, and for which we have 27 records). We also have 52 images from the 2011 version of Arthur (with 12 images from the original 1981 version starring Dudley Moore).

This update means that Cinema Image Gallery now features more than 210,000 images from 21,000 different movies and television shows, so you are bound to find something to interest the whole family this summer.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Cannes Film Festival on Cinema Image Gallery

Barton Fink
The 64th Cannes Film Festival is currently under way in France, with moviemakers from all over the world showcasing their latest work.

Did you know that Cinema Image Gallery features at least a record for every winner of the festival's prestigious Palme D'Or dating back to 1946? And that the database has a substantial number of images for almost all the movies that have won this coveted international award since that date?
A Man and a Woman

Using Cinema Image Gallery to search for Palme D'Or winners not only gives you a full list of all the awards each movie has won, but also allows you to see at a glance which of the movies your library has in stock.

Why not look and see if any of the following films are available in your library, so you can recreate the atmosphere of the Croisette in your own living room?

Union Pacific (11 images) • The Lost Weekend (15 images) • The Third Man (15 images) • Othello (13 images) • Friendly Persuasion (12 images) • The Cranes are Flying (6 images) • La Dolce Vita (31 images) • The Leopard (21 images) • A Man and a Woman (25 images) • Blow Up (71 images) • If (34 images) • MASH (50 images) • Scarecrow (15 images) • The Conversation (17 images) • Viridiana (9 images) • Taxi Driver (81 images) • Apocalypse Now (80 images) • The Tin Drum (11 images) • Kagemusha (12 images) • All That Jazz (38 images) • Missing (19 images) • Paris Texas (15 images) • Otac na Sluzbenom Putu (4 images) • The Mission (12 images) • Wild at Heart (28 images) • Barton Fink (13 images) • Farewell My Concubine (8 images) • The Piano (16 images) • Pulp Fiction (64 images) • Secrets & Lies (12 images) • The Pianist (24 images) • The Wind That Shakes the Barley  (15 images) • 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 7 Days (10 images) • Entre Les Murs (22 images) • The White Ribbon (3 images) • Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (8 images)

A reminder about our new phone system

Just a note to remind you that H. W. Wilson has switched over to a new VoIP phone system.

This new system means that you can contact your sales representative using the 1-800 number (within the U.S. and Canada) and their extension no matter where they are without needing to take note of cellphone numbers or different area codes.

Overseas subscribers can also call any member of the H. W. Wilson team using a single central number and an extension, without other geographical information, no matter where their chosen representative is based.

You will find the numbers you need for Sales Representatives,  Customer Services, and Technical Support here.

(You'll also find this picture of Elizabeth Taylor in Cinema Image Gallery.)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Friday May 6 birthday quiz with Biography Reference Bank on WilsonWeb

We haven't had a birthday quiz for a while, so let's have one today. Happy birthday if you were born on May 6. You'll find all the answers to today's quiz in Biography Reference Bank, or you can wait till later today when we will tweet them.

1) Which Italian-born silent film star known for their brooding good looks was born on this day in 1895?
a) Rudolph Valentino
b) Greta Garbo
c) Frederick March

2) Which Arctic explorer, born on this day in 1856, became the first person to reach the North Pole on April 6, 1909?
a) Edmund Hillary
b) Robert Peary
c) Ernest Shackleton

3) Which baseball player, born on May 6, 1931, became the highest-paid player in the history of major league baseball in 1966 when he signed with the San Francisco Giants for an estimated $130,000 a year?
a) Willie Mays
b) Mel Ott
c) Mickey Mantle

4) Which former British prime minister, born on May 6 1953, won his third term on his birthday in 2005?
a) John Major
b) Gordon Brown
c) Tony Blair

5) Which American actor, nominated for both acting and writing awards for the movie Good Night and Good Luck, was born on this day in 1961?
a) Robert Downey Jr.
b) George Clooney
c) Brad Pitt

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Eighty years of the Empire State Building

Opened on May 1, 1931, the Empire State Building was the tallest building in New York between 1931 and 1972 (and has been again since 2001), and has become an icon of the New York skyline. It is the site of an invitation-only race, the Empire State Building Run-Up--an event that draws world-class competitors from all over the world, including, in 2010, the blind runner Suleiman Rifai.

The building is also an important site for broadcasting antennas: it was the site of the first high-definition telecast in 1936, and the first mobile telvision unit for broadcasting outdoor events relayed its broadcasts from here in December 1937. According to articles in Omnifile, the Empire State is also an unusual spot to view migrating birds, and a commercial building that comes with a set of challenges and opportunities unique to the world's most iconic buildings.

How, for example, can millions of tourists be safely guided around the building with the minimum of disruption to the tenants? Who needs to be consulted when restoration work is undertaken? Articles discussing all these issues and more can be found in Omnifile Full Text Mega, with citations to many more articles available in Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals.

The image of men working on the building comes from Art Museum Image Gallery, and some of the other information in this post comes from Famous First Facts.

Friday, April 29, 2011

There's always a wedding happening on Cinema Image Gallery

To mark the occasion of the British royal wedding, today's quiz is all about movies with wedding in the title. To make it even more apt, we've even included a movie called A Royal Wedding (there, that's one answer given away).

You'll find images from all these movies, and more wedding-themed films too, in Cinema Image Gallery.  We will tweet the answers later today.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Read a Wilson programmer's experience of implementing the server side of SUSHI

Brinda Shah, one of Wilson's web programmers, is featured in the Winter 2011 issue of Information Standards Quarterly, the quarterly magazine of the National Information Standards Organization (NISO).

In her article, Brinda describes her experience of implementing the server side of the Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative (SUSHI) Protocol here at H. W. Wilson, an experience that took her from "total confusion with endless terms and technologies" all the way to a "pretty neat and straightforward service" that ended up being "one of the most interesting projects I have worked on."

You can download a PDF of Brinda's article from the NISO website. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Bay of Pigs operation, with Omnifile Full Text

April 17-19, 2011, marks the 50th anniversary of the Bay of Pigs invasion, in which 1,500 exiled Cubans landed on the south coast of their country in an attempt to free Cuba from Fidel Castro's Communist rule.  These invaders were left on the beach without the supplies, protection, and support that had been promised them by their sponsor, the U.S. government, and most of them were killed or captured.

So says a very interesting account of the Bay of Pigs invasion, written by Jack Hawkins, a former colonel in the United States Marine Corps and one-time chief of the paramilitary staff at the CIA's Cuba Project. Published in the National Review in December 1996, this article follows the declassification of many of the documents surrounding the events of 1961 and is prompted by Hawkins's stated belief that "the facts should be reported." His article criticizes the invasion from a military and logistical perspective,  pointing out that if the Cubans had been trained in the U.S. rather than in Guatemala and Nicaragua, they would have been in a better position to carry out their mission. He is also critical of the failure to destroy Castro's air force before the invasion was attempted. Indeed, Hawkins concludes that if the landing had been made at Trinidad and had received adequate air support, it might have succeeded in overthrowing the Cuban government.

Omnifile also features an article from the May/June 1998 issue  of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which reviews the findings of the recently-released CIA review of the Bay of Pigs invasion. This document, "The Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation," deflects blame from President John F. Kennedy's decision to cancel the air strikes that had been intended to coincide with the invasion and instead concludes that the "fundamental cause of the disaster was the agency's failure to give the project... appropriate organization, staffing throughout by highly qualified personnel, and a full-time firection and control of the highest quality." The report, written by then-CIA Inspector General Lyman Kirkpatrick six months after the operation, does concur with Hawkins in some respects, however: it finds fault with agency's handling of nearly every aspect of the operation.

To find either of these articles, or other material on the operation, search Bay of Pigs in Omnifile.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Civil War Movie Quiz with Cinema Image Gallery

To mark the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, today's quiz invites you to identify these movies, all from Cinema Image Gallery,  all set during the Civil War.

As usual, we will tweet the answers later today.

Happy birthday, Henry James

The novelist Henry James was born in New York City on April 15, 1843 but began his travels abroad almost immediately: his father took the family to Europe when James was just 12 years old. Throughout his life in Paris and England, he sought to perfect his novel writing craft, eventually--while living in Rye, Sussex--writing The Ambassadors, a work that American Authors, 1600-1900, describes as "a novel so astutely autobiographical, in part, and so psychologically exhaustive that many have labeled it James' masterpiece."

The literary website Bookslut features a whole section devoted to James's birthday this week, and The Guardian newspaper collects all its columns and writings about James into a neat section. For more serious research into this classic writer, however, you should check out our Book Review Digest Retrospective: 1905-1982, which contains links to full-text books containing essays both by and about Henry James, and Essay & General Literature Index Retrospective: 1900-1984, which contains links to no fewer than 45 full-text books featuring essays both about and by the writer, allowing researchers to easily access opinion of James back as far as the start of the 20th century. For newer perspectives on James, there are many websites devoted to him and his books, maintained by both academics and enthusiasts.
Subscribers to Omnifile will find an excellent collection of articles (140 full-text records in all) about James together in one place. From "What is the Matter With Henry James?" in Studies in the Novel, Spring 2009, to "Bogdanovich's Daisy Miller and the Limits of Fidelity," in Literature/Film Quarterly, 1991. That should certainly be enough to whet anyone's appetite for information about the master.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

National Library Week Library Heroes: Philip Larkin

Although Larkin (August 8, 1922 - December 2, 1985) became a librarian only after his attempts to get into the British civil service failed, he was relatively successful in his job. He began his library career in 1943 at the Wellington urban district council in Shropshire, then acquired his professional accreditation through correspondence courses. He moved on to the post of assistant librarian at the University College of Leicester in 1946, then sublibrarian at Queen's University, Belfast, and in 1955 he became librarian of Brynmore Jones library at the University of Hull, Yorkshire.

In a 1965 interview, Larkin complained that "work encroaches like a weed over the whole of my life... It's all the time absorbing a creative energy that might have gone into poetry." He also said that he "equate[d] librarianship with stoking boilers." By the time he was interviewed in 1979 for the London Observer, however, he had changed his mind: "Librarianship suits me--I love the feel of libraries--and it has just the right blend of academic interest and administration that seems to match my particular talents... I've always thought that a regular job was no bad thing for a poet." On living in Hull, he said that he felt "the need to be on the periphery of things."

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

National Library Week Library Heroes: Melvil Dewey

Library reformer and creator of the Dewey Decimal System of book classification, Melvil Dewey was born December 10, 1851 at Adams Center, New York into a relatively poor family where thrift was a necessity. He began working in libraries as an undergraduate at Amherst college, visiting many other institutions during his time there in order to see how they ran their libraries.

In 1876, while still at Amherst, he published A Classification and Subject Index for Cataloguing and Arranging the Books and Pamphlets of a Library, which was eventually adopted by libraries all over the U.S. to become the standard American library classification system. Indeed, although it has been supplanted by other systems in academic, specialized, and larger public libraries, the Dewey Decimal Classification and Relative Index is still used in many school and public libraries.

As if that wasn't enough, Dewey went on to become the first secretary of the American Library Association, and twice president of that organization. He edited the first five volumes of the Library Journal, organized the Library Bureau in Boston, and became associated with the American Metric Bureau, the Spelling Reform Association, and other educational reform groups.

Melvil Dewey is also credited with inventing the vertical office file cabinet.

He died on December 26, 1931.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

National Library Week Library Heroes: Jorge Luis Borges

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1899, Borges was one of Latin America's great men of letters. He was best known for his esoteric short fiction, rich in fantasy and metaphysical allegory. More importantly for this post, he also served as the director of the National Library in Buenos Aires from 1955-1973.

Borges took his first library job in 1937 and called it "nine years of solid unhappiness," feeling that the work was menial and dismal. Libraries, nevertheless, crop up from time to time in his work, notably in "The Library of Babel," in which Borges creates a literary cosmos:
Everything is there: the minute history of the future, the autobiographies of the archangels, the faithful catalogue of the Library, thousands and thousands of false catalogues, a demonstration of the fallacy of the true catalogue... the truthful account of your death, a version of each book in all languages, the interpolations of every book in all books.
Borges's appointment to the position of director of the National Library came just after the fall of Peron. Around this time he was also appointed to the National Academy, and was made professor of English and North American literature at the University of Buenos Aires. He devoted more time to these duties as his eyesight began to fail. He eventually became blind, and turned back to poetry, which he had neglected since the 1920s.

Jorge Luis Borges died in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1986.

Monday, April 11, 2011

National Library Week Library Heroes: Zenodotus

Born approximately 325 B.C., Zenodotus was a Greek scholarly writer who lived in Alexandria, Egypt under the reign of Ptolemy  Soter and Ptolemy II Philadelphus. He became the first director of the Alexandrian Library around 284 B.C., directing the preliminary classification of its books and becoming the first editor of the Iliad and the Odyssey. 
Zenodotus also prepared editions of Hesiod's Theogony and the poems of Pindar and Anacreon, and produced Foreign Terms, a collection of non-Greek expressions found in literary texts, as well as a Homeric Glossary, which laid the foundation for later scholarly linguistic study. Zenodotus was also the earliest person known (so far) to have employed alphabetical order.
You can find a more detailed version of this profile, originally from Greek and Latin Authors 800 B.C. - A.D. 1000, in Biography Reference Bank, and the picture of the ruins of the Alexandrian Library in Art Museum Image Gallery.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Friday remakes quiz with Cinema Image Gallery

Today sees the release of Arthur, starring Russell Brand in a remake of the 1981 comedy classic that was such a hit for Dudley Moore.
Following in the remake trend, today's Friday quiz invites you to name the movies pictured here, all remakes of earlier movies, or based on earlier movies.
You will find all the answers in Cinema Image Gallery, or you can wait until later today when we will tweet them.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

National Library Week: April 10-16, 2011

Running alongside the American Association of School Librarians' School Library Month, the American Library Association's National Library Week this year invites you to "Create Your Own Story @ Your Library."

We all know it's a difficult time for libraries, but the campaign to save libraries in Great Britain has generated a lot of interest and support for libraries (just listen to what these supporters on the BBC Radio 4 program Book Club say in defense of their libraries), as have several campaigns across the U.S. We hope to highlight some more of these on Inside Wilson across National Library Week, as well as bringing you some biographical tidbits about some key individuals in the history of libraries.

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fool's Day quiz with Cinema Image Gallery

Today's quiz invites you to identify five movies, all with "fool" in the title. One of them is even called April Fool, just because we thought we'd help you out a bit.

As usual, we will tweet the answers later today, or you'll find them all in Cinema Image Gallery.

Also, if you can't get enough of April Fool-related quizzes, you could try this literary one in the Guardian. 

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Playwriting plaudits for a member of our Biography team

We hope you join us in congratulating Molly Hagan, of our Current Biography team, who has been chosen as a national finalist in the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival's Ten-Minute Play Award for her work, Spaceships and Things That Look Like Them.
Molly's play, along with the other ten-minute plays in the final, will be staged at the Kennedy Center Family Theater in Washington, D.C. on April 22.
We wish Molly the best of luck in her category.

Break a leg, Molly! (Do you say that to the writer?)
Molly has worked at H.W. Wilson since October 2010, and Inside Wilson asked her a few questions about her writing.

What inspires you as a writer?
As a playwright, I'm inspired by theatricality and the challenge of writing for the stage. The neat thing about theater is that what we see is largely dependent on language. The play exists in the mind of the audience.
At Current Biography, I am interested in introducing readers to fascinating people who they may not know.

Of all the profiles you've worked on for Current Biography, whose was the most interesting or surprising?
I just finished working on a profile of Connie Rice. She's a civil rights lawyer and founder of an "action tank" (as opposed to a think tank) called the Advancement Project. She's also an expert on gang warfare in Los Angeles - and is former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's cousin. I had never heard of her until I came across an article about her on the Daily Beast. Rice is incredibly smart and seemingly fearless. I could have written a book about her.

How has access to Wilson resources helped you in your writing?
Working at Current Biography, I have access to the life stories of thousands of people. I have found lots of inspiration for characters, not only in the research for the biographies that I write, but in the countless biographies that exist in our database as well. I think we do a good job of providing a detailed portrait of our subjects, rather than just a list of their accomplishments.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Elizabeth Taylor on Cinema Image Gallery

Today's quiz marks the passing of screen icon Elizabeth Taylor. We're asking you to identify these five movies from various stages of Taylor's career, just five of the hundreds of images of Elizabeth Taylor we have in Cinema Image Gallery, all licensed for use in non-commercial settings like schools and libraries.

We will, as usual, tweet the answers later today.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Happy... International... Talk Like William Shatner... Day.

Yes, it's the second annual Talk Like William Shatner Day, and today it just so happens to fall on the great man's 80th birthday.

Happy birthday... Mr. Shatner.

Here are some Shatner facts from our Biography Reference Bank database to help you wow your friends with your arcane knowledge:

  • Shatner's father, Joseph, ran a successful clothing manufacturing firm called Admiration Clothes.
  • Shatner got his first taste of acting success performing in a play at the French-Canadian summer camp he attended, where he also gained his great love of the outdoors.
  • His first acting job in U.S. films was in MGM's production of the Brothers Karamazov (1958).
  • After the famous Saturday Night Live parody sketch in which he told Trek fans to "get a life," Shatner admitted that it took him many years to understand the depths of passion Star Trek inspired in its legions of devotees.
  • Shatner was inducted into the Academy of TV Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame in 2006.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Women in Movies quiz with Cinema Image Gallery

Because we just can't shake the movie buzz this week, and because next week is International Women's Day, we decided to ask you to identify these actresses and film makers.

You'll find the answers in Cinema Image Gallery, (which has been updated with all the Oscar information for 2011), or you can wait until later today when we will tweet them.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

World Book Day with Core Collections on WilsonWeb

March 3 is World Book Day, an event set up by UNESCO to encourage the celebration of books and reading. Whether you are participating through a library or on your own, Core Collections on WilsonWeb and WilsonWeb Mobile can help you choose books for you, your family, friends, reading group, children, study group, or whatever group of people is joining you in your love of books.

Looking for books on gardening? Graphic novels suitable for under-12s? Naval adventures? Psychological thrillers? Books translated from other languages? The best specialist dictionaries? Whatever kind of book you want, our Core Collections databases are filled with recommended titles grouped according to age and type of books covered:

  • Children's - covering fiction and nonfiction, graphic novels, picture books, and magazines for readers from preschool to sixth grade.
  • Middle & Junior High - covering fiction and nonfiction, graphic novels, and collections for readers in grades five through nine.
  • Senior High - covering fiction, nonfiction, collections, graphic novels, and more for readers in grades nine through twelve.
  • Fiction - featuring classic and contemporary fiction for a general adult audience, including literary, general, and genre fiction.
  • Public Library: Nonfiction - featuring reference and non-fiction books for adults.
  • Graphic Novels - highlighting around 2,000 titles from this increasingly popular and important literary form.

Core Collections databases feature best-of lists, starred reviews, excerpts from substantive reviews, links to sites where you can buy your chosen books, and many more features designed to make collection building and readers' advisory easy, no matter who you are choosing books for.

Interested in Core Collections? Sign up for a 10-day free trial here.

You'll also find useful tips, lists, features, and updates in The Core newsletter, and around the site built by librarians for librarians:

Monday, February 28, 2011

New full-text content for Omnifile

Coming to Omnifile from March 1: thousands of new full-text articles from more than 100 journals, most brand new to WilsonWeb.

The new full-text content will be added to the following databases:
And included in the relevant sections of Omnifile. This expansion means that Omnifile subscribers now have access to an additional 100,000 articles from 153 journals in all subject areas.

Click here to open a PDF of all the full-text content added to Omnifile since January 2010.
Click here for the full journal directory.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Oscar quiz with Cinema Image Gallery

Sunday night is Oscar night, and to celebrate Hollywood's biggest night of the year, we're putting on our designer outfits and asking about Oscar winners in our Friday quiz. We want you to identify the movies below, each of which has won the Oscar for Best Costume Design.

You can find the answers in Cinema Image Gallery, which indexes Academy Award winners and nominees in all the major categories, including Costume Design, as well as indexing several other industry awards too.

If you want to play but your library doesn't currently subscribe to Cinema Image Gallery, you can request a free trial.

Or you can wait until later today when we will tweet the answers.