Vi har mottatt tre brev som vi gjerne vil dele med våre lesere. Avsenderne ønsker kontakt med andre fagmiljøer, og vi tror vi hjelper dem best ved å videreformidle adressene og noe av deres egenpresentasjon.

Det første brevet er ad ulike omveier kommet fra Leningrad, de to øvrige pr e- mail:


Group of Multi-Lingual Computing
Institute of Oriental Studies in the USSR Academy of Sciences
(Leningrad Branch)

Dear Madam/Sir,

We would like to inform you about the activities in the field of computerisation of Oriental studies at the Institute of Oriental Studies in the USSR Academy of Sciences (Leningrad Branch).

The Group of Multi-Lingual Computing of the Institute was organized in April, 1990. Head of the Group is Dr. Efim A. Rezvan (Qur'anic studies). Dr. Valeriy V. Poshin is the Group expert on Far Eastern Codicological research. Our main experts on software production are Alexander Titov (analyst) and Irina Tikhonova (experience in word processing and database).

In the near future our IBM PS will be connected with the "Saber" computer of the Leningrad Institute for Informatics and Automation. We shall also obtain the possibility to cooperate with the computer nets of Europe and the United States through the stations in Vienna and San Francisco.

Since our Institute possesses one of the largest collections of Oriental MSS not only in the USSR, but in Europe, our activities are primarily concerned with the study of MSS. We are planning to produce computer based catalogues of our collections hoping to use scanner to reproduce incipit and exipit of the MSS. In 1991 wc hope to produce the data base on Qur'anic MSS from Leningrad collections (Dr. Rezvan) and the data base on Japanese MSS, incunabula and block-printed books from Soviet collections (Dr. Kabanov). we also began working out a program of graphic recognition, which might be used in the analysis and reproduction of the MSS. The automatization of comparison of the MSS will help to solve the task of critical editions.

We also began to prepare an expert system for the Arabic and other Muslim MSS. The knowledge base of the expert system will accumulate the experience and codicological data gathered by several well-known scholars such as Prof. Akimushin, Prof. Khalidov, Dr. Valeriy Poshin, Prof. Sultanov, who are working at our Institute.

We are planning to conduct some special research in different fields, proposed by individual scholars, among them some ideas of the application of computer methods in Qur'anic studies. Dr. Rezvan's paper on this subject was presented at the Conference on Bilingual Computing in Arabic and English (univ. of Cambridge, 5-7 September, 1990).

The members of the Group started the preparation of the book "Computer for Scholars", based mainly on the material of Oriental studies. We plan to finish it till the end of 1991. We think it to be mainly the practical guide in the ocean of hardware and software production. It will give also the examples of solving the various kind of problems connected with the use of PC in Oriental studies. In it we are planning also to discuss the results obtained now in the field. There will be published 100.000 copies of the book, supplied with floppy with demo files of various programs. If you, your colleagues or some hard- or software companies in your country are interested in advertising their products by means of our book, we can do it in a way you or they want.

In two months we'll finish the English-Russian database on Soviet collections of Oriental MSS, epgraphics and documents. It will contain statistical and bibliographical information, notes on the level of the descriptions and studies devoted to the collections, adresses of the institutes and libraries, etc.

There are also some other plans, which are now under elaboration. Hope for cooperation.
Our telex: (64) 121320 + Nauka SU
Fax: 007-812-2184172
Tel. office: 311-80-60
Leningrad, 191065, Dvortzovaya nab. 18.


By Carl Eugene Loeffler and the Art Com Group

Art Com Electronic Network (ACEN), an online project dedicated to the interface of contemporary art and new communication technologies, was launched in 1986. ACEN features electronic data bases, bulletin boards, interactive electronic art galleries, virtual museums, and the electronic shopping mall. The electronic edition of Art Com magazine, as well as publications and projects initiated by other cultural organizations and individuals, can also be accessed. Conceived by Art Com Executive Director, Carl Eugene Loeffler ( and artist Fred Truck (, the ACEN project grew out of organizational activity of the 70s, which in part embraced slo-scan video and personal computer data exchanges. In 1979, Loeffler organized the seminal event "Artist Use of Telecommunications," which was held at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and established two-way slo-scan and computer links with art centers in Australia, Canada, Europe, Japan, and points in the United States. The experience of being virtually connected with such a geographically dispersed community formed the desire to establish a durational network for global connectivity. The Art Com group investigated systems and options, and in 1985 we received an invitation from the Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link (WELL) to conduct activity as ACEN on their system. Suddenly ACEN was granted a host computer, operating programs, multi-user access, billing, maintenance, and long range telecommunication carriers - a dream come true.

The ACEN project was a new experience for us, requiring some staff to learn UNIX programming and data base management. With the additional contribution of staff members Anna Couey and Darlene Tong, ACEN officially went online in the Spring of 1986. ACEN is consistently one of the most popular conferences available on the WELL, receiving thousands of visitors a month. Over the years, we have learned how to encourage participation and administer an online service. Loeffler explains, "The quality of an online service resides in the participation of an active userbase, not data." In the beginning, the Art Com group invested time in generating data, now we work to encourage users to participate in creating data producing projects and experiences. ACEN is largely shaped by its growing userbase.

We are now exploring decentralized teleconferencing and recently started alt.artcom, a USENET news group. The advantage of USENET is access. Users access a local USENET node, and long distance carrier charges are circumvented. Art Com initiated the USENET project to provide easy, low cost connectivity with a growing userbase located outside of the United States. The alt.artcom news group is also available for the global distribution of cultural online projects launched by Art Com or the alt.artcom userbase. Loeffler explains, "we've learned a lot about connectivity. We worked hard, but were lucky, too. We've been entrusted with a global network and it should be shared."

Art Com founder Carl Eugene Loeffler was recently appointed a Fellow to the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), where he is responsible for connectivity projects - ASCII text exchange, ISDN and graphic exchanges, and experiments in cyberspace networks. He presently is forming an international grid of participants and conceives of alt.artcom as the coordinating network.

The ACEN project is available on the Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link (WELL), and is distributed in the United States by PC Pursuit, and internationally by CompuServe Packet Network. WELL access (415) 332-6106, modem. The USENET news group alt.artcom is available internationally at most local nodes, ask your local sysop to receive alt.artcom.

For further information contact: Art Com, POB-193123 Rincon Annex, San Francisco, Ca, 94119-3123. (415) 431-7524 Voice, or e-mail

From Dr Joseph Raben

"You will be interested to know that I am starting up a moderated conference on Bitnet, to be called SCHOLAR. It has been funded for two years by the Mellon Foundation, and will disseminate hard news about worldwide activities in language processing, including literary, linguistic and editorial applications.

As for content, my ideas so far include
- tables of contents with abstracts for journals like CHum and Machine Translation
- listings of databases, software, bibliography, etc. for the general field of textual studies (literary, linguistic, editorial, etc.) 
- reviews of software, books, CD-ROMs - all related, of course to this particular field 
- rejoinders and rebuttals to any of the above items
- announcements of conferences and calls for papers
- anything else useful that we can think of.

 The important principle is that this will be a moderated conference; nothing will go up on it without editorial approval.
How it will develop over the two years for which I have funding, I cannot predict; CHum started as a newsletter. What I do know is that a dedicated advisory council can be of tremendous help, and I hope you will join me in this effort. I need suggestions about appropriate contents, means of reaching the potential audience, lists of books and software to review, copies of articles to be abstracted, information about forthcoming meetings, and anything else of this nature that will make SCHOLAR into the useful service it can become.
My Bitnet address is now qrqc@cunyvm, or on Internet Please let me know whether you wish to participate in this venture and what ideas you have on what should go into it.

Best regards,

Joe Raben

Innholdslisten for dette nummeretHovedside, Humanistiske DataHjemmeside, Humanistisk Datasenter