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Proposal & Press >> Grant Proposal

Table of Contents

   Related Resources
   Methodology and Standards
   Plan of Work
   Related Projects and Experience
   Budget Rationale


Indiana University, in collaboration with the State University of New York-Albany, proposes converting to electronic form approximately 564,000 entries of an authoritative paper-based film literature index and making this information available via the World Wide Web.

Since 1973, the Film and Television Documentation Center at the State University of New York Albany (SUNY) has published the Film Literature Index, a valuable reference tool highly regarded for its thoroughness and currency. The index, standard in many libraries, is notable as one of three reference works currently published which relate to film literature. And yet, it is the only one published exclusively on paper (the two other indexes are published on CD-ROM) and the only one updated regularly that indexes trade, popular and scholarly periodicals pertaining to film and television. Creating an online version of this complementary index and making it available via the World Wide Web will greatly expand its usefulness to librarians, archivists, scholars, teachers, and film buffs.

The Film Literature Index annually indexes 150 film and television periodicals from 30 countries cover-to-cover and 200 other periodicals selectively for articles on film and television. The periodicals range from the scholarly and critical to the popular. More than 2,000 subject headings provide detailed analysis of articles.

The online version of the Film Literature Index will provide several improvements over the two other electronic indexes and welcome improvements over its paper-based counterpart, by allowing Boolean searching, for example, and allowing the user to limit searches by language or by date. A prototype of the online index demonstrates the potential to increase the usefulness of this valuable information source.

Additionally, the online version of the Film Literature Index will complement other NEH-funded projects, notably the American Film Institute Catalog of feature films. ( This comprehensive national filmography provides documentation for all films produced in the United States. A literature index will provide citations for articles describing and analyzing these works, providing an additional and complementary resource for scholars and the general public.

The two collaborating institutions are well suited to complete this project successfully. The Film and Documentation Center at SUNY Albany has gained considerable experience and prestige by publishing a consistently high-quality index since the early 1970s, having received early seed funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities to begin its publication. The Indiana University Digital Library Program has mounted important text, image, and audio collections on the World Wide Web and is currently preparing to publish another index electronically. Recently funded by the U.S. Department of Education, the IU Digital Library Program will digitize and offer on the World Wide Web a twenty-year portion of Letopis' Zhurnal'nykh Statei, a serial publication that indexes Russian periodicals from 1926 to the present.

With its initial printing in 1973, the Film Literature Index became the first periodical index devoted to the literature of film designed for the scholar, the student, and the general reader. Published by the Film and Television Documentation Center at the State University of New York, the index consistently receives praise for its high quality and research value. The director of the Media Resources Center at the University of California at Berkeley calls it a "unique and invaluable resource." In 1990, Eleanor Blum and Frances Goins Wilhoit included it in Mass Media Bibliography: An Annotated Guide to Books and Journals for Research and Reference (Urbana and Chicago, University of Illinois Press), with this comment, "The depth of indexing, the fullness of the information in the entries, and the large number of journals indexed make this an important index" (p. 294). Created by Professors Vince Aceto and Fred Silva who currently serve as its managing editors, the index is valued as an authoritative reference tool by its 500 subscribers (150 international). Its most loyal users agree, however, that it would be even more broadly beneficial and effective if it were converted to electronic form and published on the World Wide Web.

This proposal seeks funding to create just such a reference work. By combining the strengths of the index creators with the technical expertise of the Indiana University Digital Library Program, this project will create an online resource that will benefit scholars, students, movie buffs, and the general public. A prototype of the online index demonstrates the potential of introducing this index to a far-reaching audience and underscores its increased utility to those who already rely on it as a powerful reference tool.

The Indiana University Digital Library Program is a collaboration of several university units: the Indiana University Libraries, the Office of the Vice President for Information Technology, and the university research faculty with leadership from the School of Library and Information Science. This collaboration capitalizes on the institutional capabilities of the university, focusing university resources on digital library projects that support the teaching and research of IU faculty, support the learning and research of IU students, and foster research about the digital library.

The Film Literature Index (FLI) is one of three indexes devoted to the periodical literature related to film studies and broadcast studies. The other two indexes are Film Index International (FII), published by Chadwyck-Healey, and The International Film Archive (IFA), published by the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF). Of these three indexes FLI is the only one that is not available electronically. Both FII and IFA are published on CD-ROM.

  • Film Index International contains data from the British Film Institute (BFI) covering world cinema from 1930 to the present. The contents are two databases compiled by the BFI Library and Information Services and based primarily upon SIFT (Summary of Information on Film and Television). According to the Chadwyck-Healey/Bell + Howell Web site (, the first database provides information approximately 99,000 films dating back to approximately 1930, but earlier for important contributors to film history, such as Chaplin. The second database contains details about approximately 47,000 personalities in filmmaking. The entries are linked to references to 300,000 periodical articles on films and 120,000 on personalities. Users may search by title keyword, title, director, cast and credits, country, synopsis, year, award, or award year. This database is extremely valuable, but it lacks features that are important to users. The most significant deficit is the lack of subject access to article citations. The only way to find articles is through the title of a film or a personality. A related deficit is the lack of a publications list; users cannot tell how many journals are indexed or what titles are indexed. The database was compiled to provide access to information about films and personalities associated with filmmaking. Access to the periodical literature is a secondary purpose. In terms of content, the index is significantly more comprehensive for film than for television. The series "Twin Peaks" is listed, but not the series "Friends" or "Seinfeld." Chadwyck-Healey was acquired by Bell + Howell in 2000 and the future of the index seems to be in question. Film Index International has not been updated since 1999 and in a telephone conversation in May 2001, representatives of Bell + Howell stated that an updated release has not been scheduled.

  • The International Film Archive( contains "The International Index to Film/TV Periodicals," a limited thesaurus, a list of periodicals indexed, and the FIAF databases: List of FIAF members; Bibliography of FIAF members' publications, Directory of film/TV documentation collections; Treasures from the film archives; and Bibliography of Latin American cinema. In most academic libraries, the International Film Archive is most frequently used as a periodical index. IFA provides access to over 140,000 annotated entries. Coverage begins with 1972 for film periodicals and 1979 for television periodicals; however, coverage of television journals was discontinued in 1999. According to Rutger Penne, editor of The International Film Archive, only television articles published in film journals are currently indexed. It indexes more than 300 film and television journals. Users can search by broad subject, film title, biography, director, author (of article, or periodical. Users may also search by keyword in any field. However, this is simple keyword searching, allowing one-word searching only, without Boolean searching. Users may not limit by date or by language, although the abundance of foreign language articles would make this desirable.

  • Film Literature Index is the most comprehensive of the three indexes, with approximately 564,000 citations from 1973 to the present. It is the only one of the three major film and television indexes that publishes on paper, with quarterly issues and an annual bound cumulation. However, 500 libraries (150 outside the United States) continue to subscribe to this index because of its quality and scope. Film Literature Index indexes 200 film and television periodicals from 30 countries cover-to-cover and 143 other non-film/television periodicals selectively for articles on film and television. Periodicals range from scholarly and critical to technical and popular (e.g., Positif, Film & TV Kameramann, Monsterscene, Television Quarterly). Author/subject alphabetical arrangement with geographic and general sub-headings provide easy access. Over 2,000 subject headings provide detailed subject analysis of articles. Continuous updating of subject headings reflects current trends and issues (e.g., Women Filmmakers, Video Art, Teletext, Pirating). Extensive cross-references by film titles, directors and subject headings extend the possibilities for locating related information (e.g., Distribution see also Advertising, Exhibition, Marketing). At this time, Film Literature Index is the only index that is updated regularly and that indexes both film and television periodicals of all three types - trade, popular, and scholarly. As noted above, Film Index International has not been updated in three years and there are not firm commitments from Bell + Howell to do so. The International Film Archive no longer covers television periodicals.
Film and television journal literature is indexed less comprehensively by a number of other electronic resources, including Academic Search Elite, one of the EBSCO databases; International Index to the Performing Arts (IIPA), another Chadwyck-Healey database; and Pacific Film Archives's (PFA) CineFiles (, "a database of reviews, press kits, festival and showcase program notes, newspaper articles, and other documents from the PFA Library's collection." Although these three resources cover film and television periodical literature to some extent, including some full-text, none approaches the completeness of coverage offered by Film Literature Index. According to Nancy Goldman, the PFA librarian, CineFiles complements the Film Literature Index. It includes some clippings from newspapers, magazines, and journals, but only a small percentage of the material is periodical literature - 1item in 500. CineFiles is primarily a full-text source for ephemera.

Background on the Film Literature Index

In 1971 the New York State Council on the Arts awarded a grant to two professors at the State University of New York at Albany, Vincent Aceto, School of Information Science and Policy, and Fred Silva, American Literature and Film of the Department of English, to investigate the feasibility of creating an index to the growing body of film literature published in periodicals.

Professors Aceto and Silva isolated two major problems: the inadequate range and lack of specificity of film subject headings in the existing periodical indexes (e.g. Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature), and the limited number of periodicals indexed in these sources. They first developed, therefore, a comprehensive collection of candidate terms based upon an analysis of film glossaries, classification schemes, as well as an intensive reading of film scholarship. From this process and discussions with film scholars and librarians, Aceto and Silva developed a controlled vocabulary of over two thousand subject headings with syndetics (see references and see-also references) and authority lists of individuals, film titles, organizations, and institutions.

The second problem the editors faced was to identify film periodicals beyond the standard titles used by serous film scholars-those publications covering the often- neglected popular culture and technical dimensions of film activity-and foreign language periodicals. To create a "core" list of titles, the editors examined standard international periodical directories. Eliminating publications of purely fan interest, highly technical data, and those that consisted entirely of either extremely short pieces or press release information, Aceto and Silva identified 125 core journals for indexing. In addition, they identified over 100 non-film titles from standard periodical indexes that regularly included articles on film topics. Twenty-eight titles from these lists became the representative titles selected for indexing to test the adequacy of the subject headings and to develop the format policies for a prototype issues of Film Literature Index.

The prototype issue was published in 1973; major public libraries and academic libraries that served film programs in their institutions received copies. With a second grant from the New York State Council on the Arts, Film Literature Index began publication of quarterly issues with an annual cumulation. In 1976 he project grew to include a computer-based indexing system that used the SUNY Albany UNIVAC mainframe computer.

As the number of new film periodicals to index increased, the number of subject headings and names and film titles in the authority files also increased. It became clear that Professor Aceto and Professor Silva could not continue to produce FLI on a timely basis along with their other existing full-time responsibilities. Therefore, they submitted a proposal to the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1978 to support the publication of FLI and received funding for the years 1978-1981. During this period, the project grew to include a full-time editor, assistant editor, and a number of part-time foreign language indexers. In addition, a number of graduate assistants from the School of Information Science and Policy joined the staff. With this dedicated professional staff in place, FLI experienced a period of sustained growth and improved currency.

With the increasing number of articles on television in film journals, the editors decided in 1984 to explore the feasibility of creating a separate television index within Film Literature Index. The process used for developing a subject controlled vocabulary, authority files, and a core list of periodicals for film was replicated for this television periodical index. This separate section of television periodicals began in 1986.

In the late 1980s, the editors of FLI began discussions with the H.W. Wilson Company to add the index to their Wilsonline online system as a new database. A new microcomputer-based indexing system was designed, which closely paralleled the Wilsonline system. However, these negotiations ended when the Wilson Company made a policy decision not to add any external databases to their Wilsonline service.

In recent years, there have been increasing requests from subscribers to create a cumulative CD-ROM and/or online Web database. Users are finding it time consuming and cumbersome to check all 26 volumes of FLI to find relevant citations. And yet, despite the inconvenience of checking a paper index, FLI still has over 500 subscribers-many of whom have voiced their need for an electronic version of this database. In June 1999, representatives from the Indiana University Digital Library Program and the Film and Television Documentation Center at SUNY Albany began discussions for IU to provide technical assistance to SUNY Albany in converting the data to a uniform format and publishing a searchable database on the Web.

Film Literature Index Online

The Indiana University Digital Library Program, working with the Film and Television Documentation Center at SUNY Albany, seeks funding to convert approximately 564,000 entries from 1976 to 2000 and publish them on the Web. The database would offer the following functionality:

  • Searching either the film database, the television database, or both simultaneously
  • Searching the records from 1976-1987, 1988-2000, or both simultaneously
  • Searching by film or program title, article title, author, subject, or keyword anywhere
  • Searching by journal title
  • Boolean searching: and, or, not
  • Proximity searching
  • Limiting a search by language or date

"The migration of the Film Literature Index on the Web would make an already unique resource even more broadly useful," writes Gary Handman, director of the Media Resources Center at the University of California at Berkeley in a letter of support (attached). "The ability to do cross-year searching would be an enormous leap forward."

The results set would include a brief view of the record that could be expanded to a full view, for selected entries combined or individual entries. The full record would include the following elements:

  • Title of article
  • Author(s)
  • Bibliographic Citation
  • Language of article
  • Publication type: article, review, etc.
  • Subject heading(s)
  • Film title or television program or series
  • Collation: e.g., bibliography, stills, illustrations
The Web site will provide access to the subject thesaurus of over 2,000 descriptors. It will provide a complete list of the periodicals indexed, help, sample searches, and other features to facilitate successful searching.

We expect that FLI Online would be priced similarly to other existing databases, which would be an increase over the current fees for the paper format. The most common practices involve licensing a database for a yearly term determined by the number of users having simultaneous access or based upon student FTE. The non-profit nature of the joint IU/SUNYA venture dictates that fees for FLI Online would be less than fees charged by current commercial vendors. The fee schedules would be developed as the online capability became more of a reality. The general plan calls for SUNY Albany to continue providing editorial support for the index, while Indiana University would provide technical support. Since we anticipate that the subscribers will continue to be libraries and other institutions, access to the database will be IP protected rather than password protected, to eliminate the cumbersome need to authenticate individual users ourselves.

For the Film Literature Index Online Project, we will draw upon Indiana University's wealth of resources in Film Studies and experience in the creation of electronic texts. We will also draw upon the Film and Television Documentation Center's many years of experience publishing the Film Literature Index on paper and its long-standing relationships with subscribers and film and television scholars.

To date, we have done a substantial amount of preliminary research and planning for the project. Using the data from volume 19 (1991) of the Film Literature Index (FLI), we have developed a preliminary database design and a prototype Web interface to the database. The prototype contains over 20,000 bibliographic records and is fully searchable. We offered the prototype to selected film studies scholars and the FLI editorial staff at the Film and Television Documentation Center at SUNY Albany for their comments; we are using their valuable feedback to make changes, fixes, and enhancements to the prototype. The prototype is available on the Web at (Also, see Appendix C for sample entries and searches.) Please note that the prototype is not a production resource; it is a test platform, and as such is not indicative of the high-quality standards we will insist upon in the final product. As we move forward in the development of the project, the look, feel, and functionality will change and improve dramatically. These changes will be guided by further analysis of the data and its potential uses and by the results of extensive usability testing.

Related Resources

The online version of the Film Literature Index will complement other NEH-funded projects, notably the American Film Institute Catalog (, and CineFiles (http://www.mip.Berkeley.EDU/cinefiles/). When completed, the AFI Catalog and its online version will comprise a comprehensive national filmography that provides documentation for all feature films produced in the United States. CineFiles is an online catalog and digital archive of reviews, press kits, festival and showcase program notes, newspaper articles, and other documents from the Pacific Film Archive Library's clipping files. Both of these are important resources for film students and scholars. However, neither provides a reliable index of periodical literature. The AFI Catalog does not cover periodical literature at all and CineFiles does so only in a non-systematic way. For example, a search of CineFiles for documents from the source Cineaste retrieved 8 items; a search of the same journal in the Film Literature Index text database, which covers 1991 only, retrieved 80 entries. Film Literature Index Online would provide a third online resource, focusing upon the periodical literature related to the films described in the AFI Catalog and providing citations to additional print resources to supplement PFA's CineFiles.
Methodology and Standards

The online Film Literature Index data will be stored in an Oracle database running under the AIX operating system (a UNIX variant) on IBM RS/6000 hardware. The Digital Library Program at Indiana University has a long history of success in running digital library and database applications on the IBM AIX-RS/6000 platform. Successful digital library projects currently running on this platform include VARIATIONS, which provides access to over 5000 titles of near CD-quality digital audio to users at computer workstations in the Cook Music Library at Indiana University-Bloomington (, and portions of the Hoagy Carmichael Collection (, a multimedia Web site providing access to Indiana University's extensive collections pertaining to the life and career of master songwriter Hoagland "Hoagy" Carmichael (1899-1981). We have chosen Oracle as our database because it is an industry-leading relational database with strong support for standards such as SQL and XML, which helps ensure interoperability with similar standards-based projects. Additionally, Oracle is strongly supported by University Information Technology Services (UITS), Indiana University's IT organization; it is also supported at SUNY Albany. The combination of the AIX operating system and Oracle database also offers multiple layers of security and auditing to ensure that unauthorized or accidental changes or replacements do not occur in the electronic files.

The interface to the database will be delivered via World Wide Web and will be built using standard technologies such as HTTP, HTML, XML, CGI, Perl, and Java. By adopting these standard technologies, we will reduce our reliance on proprietary technologies and formats, thereby increasing the long-term viability and sustainability of the project. The use of standard technologies will also ensure that the project is accessible by standard and popular Web browsers and the largest possible user-base. Our current plan is to use Java servlets and the Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) API to interface with the Oracle database via standard Web browsers. We have a great deal of experience building Internet applications using these technologies and have used them successfully in building the Film Literature Index prototype.
Plan of Work

There are two major technical components involved in the development of the online Film Literature Index. The first component is the database design and data conversion process, in which we will design the underlying database tables and convert the electronic data used for the production of the print index into a format suitable for online storage, search, and delivery. The second technical component in the development of the FLI is the search and delivery component, i.e., the programming, designing, and testing of the Web site and Web-based search and delivery interface.

Data Conversion and Editing

We propose to convert the Film Literature Index data beginning with the 1976 volume and extending through the 2000 volume. The data currently exist in 27 discrete electronic text files with the different fields delimited by field name or number. However, the data are in two different formats. The 1976-1987 volumes are on a VAX platform in unit record format with numeric field tags. The 1988-2000 volumes are on a microcomputer system that uses a dBASE indexing program with field name tags. The information contained in both formats is essentially the same, but the data are organized and structured differently. For example, the post-1988 format has separate fields for author, article title, and collation while the pre-1988 data combines author, article title, and collation into a single field. In order to provide independent searching of author, article title, and collation fields, we will need to separate the combined field of the pre-1988 data into three independent fields. This type of conersion can be automated with text-processing scripts, but extensive manual checking and editing of the converted data will be necessary to guard against unintended errors and strengthen quality control. We will convert the data to ensure that both data formats offer the same search, retrieval and display functionality and that any differences in the formats of the underlying database tables are transparent to the end user. With the pre-1988 data converted into a format compatible with the post-1988 data, we will then use custom automated scripts to load the data into the Oracle database tables. The data conversion process will be carried out by the project manager and the SUNY Albany staff along with the part-time data editor.

Another aspect of the data conversion process relates to variant terms used in the entries over time. Records are consistent only within a given calendar year. A sampling of variant terms indicates a minimum of 5% of the records will have to be changed to be consistent across time. It is expected that many variant terms will need to be verified with the original journal article from the collection of film and television journals at the Film and Television Documentation Center. Articles from selectively indexed journals will need to be checked in the University Library and other area academic libraries. The final decisions for reconciling variants will be stored in a database with appropriate source justifications. All of these changes will also need to be entered into the ongoing databases for subject terms, film/television production titles, names, and corporate headings so that the current year of indexing will be consistent with the new Oracle database.

Search and Delivery

As the data is being converted and loaded into the Oracle database, we will continue development of the search and display interface to the database. We have already accomplished a significant amount of work in developing the prototype, but substantial work remains. As previously stated, the search and display interface will be Web-based, and will be built using standard Internet technologies such as HTTP, HTML, XML, CGI, Perl and Java. Users will enter queries into standard HTML-based Web forms. Queries will then be sent to the Web server where Java servlets using the JDBC API will communicate with the Oracle database, retrieve query results, and return those results as HTML Web pages to the user's browser. We will be guided throughout the interface development process by the results of ongoing usability testing. Redesign, testing and evaluation of the interface will be overseen by the project manager in conjunction with the IU Digital Library Program's Content Analysis And Interface Design Special list, who has training and experience in planning and conducting usability studies, conducting user and task analysis, and performing data analysis. Formal usability testing will take place in the University Information Technology Services usability lab, which is equipped for video, audio, screen and keystroke level capture of data. The server-side programming involved in performing queries and displaying results to the user will be conducted by the project manager with assistance from other Digital Library Program technical staff.

Sustainability of Project

Indiana University and SUNY Albany are committed to providing perpetual access to Film Literature Index Online. Regardless of the publication of the future volumes online, Indiana University will continue to provide access to the earlier volumes. If another university or a commercial entity becomes the publisher for future volumes, we will discuss options for ongoing support with their representatives. As noted earlier in the proposal, we hope that Indiana University and SUNY Albany can work out an ongoing relationship to publish Film Literature Index Online jointly, with IU providing technical support and SUNY Albany providing editorial support. Although we cannot promise that outcome at this time, we will work toward the creation of a viable online index that will be more than a static database of previously-published citations. We strongly believe that the database is most valuable in conjunction with the publication of new content online.

Access to networked information resources is supported at Indiana University by the data center services of University Information Technology Services (UITS). The UITS data center operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide students, faculty, staff, and international scholarly community with continuous access to university information resources. Through a regular program of upgrade and replacement, UITS maintains currency in hardware, software, and storage media. Information resources of long-term or permanent value are kept current as part of this upgrade and replacement cycle. UITS and the Indiana University Archives have participated in the research program of the National Historic Publications and Records Commission, studying means and methods of preserving digital content. To date, and in practice, our most reliable means of preservation has been a combination of routine content copying (to preserve against media decay), and periodic content conversion, as part of the equipment or application upgrade cycle (to preserve against hardware or software obsolescence). These practices, and the institution's commitment to maintaining the scholarly record, help assure preservation and continued access to networked information resources.

The Digital Library Program servers that will serve the Oracle database and the FLI Web site are routinely backed up on a nightly basis. In addition, all the data, scripts, programs, source code, and Web pages associated with the Web interface will be archived on the UITS mass storage system and on CD-R media. All archives will be accompanied by documentation describing their organization and contents. The UITS mass storage system provides a scalable, network accessible, storage infrastructure to support teaching, research, and administrative computing at Indiana University. The software underlying the mass storage system, namely HPSS (High Performance Storage System), is developed jointly by a consortium that includes IBM and a number of national laboratories and supercomputing centers. A hierarchical storage management (HSM) system by design, HPSS enables data stored on fast disks to migrate automatically and seamlessly to fast tape systems and vice versa, thus eliminating the need for eplicit tape management in a traditional backup environment. For more information on the IU mass storage system and HPSS, please see the IU Distributed Storage Services Group homepage at and the HPSS homepage at With archives on the mass storage system and CD-R media in addition to the nightly backups of the Digital Library Program servers, we will have redundant reliable backups of this important information resource.

Indiana University has shown a strong commitment to the continued development and maintenance of the IU's digital library infrastructure, and digital library initiatives are featured prominently in Indiana University's information technology strategic plan (see Architecture for the 21st Century: An Information Technology Strategic Plan for Indiana University at This strong commitment from the highest levels of leadership within the university ensures that we will continue to have available the resources to maintain, support, and grow the existing infrastructure and to upgrade and migrate to new technologies as they become available.
  • Activity 1: Hire and train temporary staff (5/1/02 - 6/30/02; 2 months)
  • Activity 2: Perform usability testing on the current prototype (7/1/02 - 9/30/02; 3 months)
  • Activity 3: Evaluate current prototype database design and make any necessary adjustments, including accommodations for pre-1988 data and issues raised by usability testing. (10/1/02 - 11/30/02; 2 months)
  • Activity 4: Reconcile variant data from discrete annual FLI files with new Oracle database (12/1/02 - 7/30/03; 8 months)
  • Activity 5: Convert pre-1988 data and process and load all data into Oracle database with custom data processing and loading scripts (12/1/02 - 7/30/03; 8 months)
  • Activity 6: Development of search and display interface and Web access programs, adding additional functionality, cosmetic improvements, and other changes suggested by usability testing of prototype (2/01/03 - 7/30/03; 6 months)
  • Activity 7: Plan and conduct beta testing of database and user interface (8/01/03 - 9/30/03; 2 months)
  • Activity 8: Final usability testing of database and user interface (10/01/03 - 12/31/03; 3 months)
  • Activity 9: Implement changes suggested by final usability testing (1/1/04 - 3/31/04; 3 months)
  • Activity 10: Evaluate project; write final report (4/1/04 - 4/30/04; 1 month )

The overall project will be co-directed by existing staff -- Kristine Brancolini, Director of the Indiana University Digital Library Program, and John Walsh, Manager, Electronic Text Technologies for the Digital Library Program and University Information Technology Services. Kristine Brancolini and John Walsh will each devote 10% of their time to directing the project. We will hire a full-time project manager for the duration of the grant. The project manager will possess database administration, programming, and project management expertise and will devote 100% of his or her time to the project. The project manager will oversee the development of the project from beginning to end; coordinate the various activities and participants in the project; and hire, train, and supervise the part-time staff. Other major participants from the IU Digital Library Program include Perry Willett, Assistant Director of the Digital Library Program and an electronic text specialist,Nergiz Cagiltay, Programmer, and Deb Horn, Content Analysis and Interface Design Specialist. Perry Willett, General Editor of the Victorian Women Writers Project (, will provide advice and consultation on the project. He is Head of the Library Electronic Text Resource Service (LETRS), where much of the work will be completed. Nergiz Cagiltay, who did the database design and programming work on the current FLI prototype, will assist in further database design and programming. Deb Horn will assist in the interface design and lead the usability testing for the project. Nergiz Cagiltay and Deb Horn are both full-time professional staff and will each devote 15% of their time to the project.

Part-time staff will supplement the above full-time personnel. We propose to hire one part-time data editor who will work twenty hours a week. This editor will check the programmatically converted pre-1988 data for data conversion errors and edit any data that cannot be converted programmatically. The four SUNY Albany staff (Vincent Aceto, Fred Silva, Linda Provinzano, and Graduate Assistant) will work as a team with the project manager on the reconciliation of variant names of persons, authors, and places; film and television titles and directors; corporate headings; subjects; and title changes of journals.

Two part-time coordinators at the Film and Television Documentation Center (FATDOC) at SUNY Albany will coordinate communications between FATDOC and the Digital Library Program staff. The part-time coordinators will each work four hours per week and, as creators of Film Literature Index and FATDOC, they are familiar with the editorial policies, operations, and production of FLI. The part-time coordinators will also facilitate the information flow between the two sites and project-related activities at SUNY Albany, such as usability testing of the new Oracle system with FLI subscribers and film and television scholars.

Staffing Breakdown
  • Indiana University
    • Co-Director Kris Brancolini 15%
    • Co-Director John Walsh 10%
    • Electronic Text Consultant Perry Willett 10%
    • Programmer Nergiz Cagiltay 15%
    • Content Analysis and Interface Design Specialist Deb Horn 15%
    • Project Manager/Programmer (to be hired) 100%
    • Data Editor (to be hired) 20 hours week
  • SUNY Albany
    • Coordinator Vincent Aceto 10%
    • Coordinator Fred Silva 10%
    • Editor Linda Provinzano 7.5 hours per week
    • Graduate Assistant (to be hired) 20 hours per week
Related Projects and Experience

The Indiana University Digital Library Program has experience in mounting large digital collections on the WWW and providing sustained support for network access to these collections. In 1998, the DLP received a three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education to convert a 20-year run of a Russian periodical index, Letopis' Zhurnal'nykh Statei, from paper to electronic form and publish it on the Web Kristine Brancolini is one of the co-directors of this project. John Walsh, who led the project to create the prototype Web site for the Film Literature Index Online, is the technical manager for the project. Digital Library Program staff also publish the Victorian Women Writers Project, a collection of SGML-encoded texts created and mounted on the WWW at Indiana University; Perry Willett is the General Editor of the Victorian Women Writers Project. The collection totals 175 volumes, with new volumes adding to the total continuously. In October 1997 the National Endowment of the Humanities named IU's Victorian Women Writer's Project one of the top 20 humanities sites on the World Wide Web. John Walsh, Manager of Electronic Text Services, has many years of experience working with OCR software, preparing large SGML collections for delivery over the Internet, converting electronic texts from other formats to SGML, and creating Web-based interfaces to these collections, using a combination of HTML/SGML/XML, Perl, and Java programming.

Vince Aceto and Fred Silva are the creators of the Film Literature Index and have been working on the index since 1973. They received a two-year grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support the publication in 1979-1981. The two major objectives of the grant were to professionalize the staff and to enlarge the subscription base to ensure that FLI would be self-supporting by the end of the grant period; these objectives were achieved. Vince Aceto, a SUNY Distinguished Service Professor, teaches a course in "Abstracting and Indexing" in the School of Information Science and Policy. Linda Provinzano, the Senior Editor of the FLI for twenty years, is the final authority on verification of film and television titles and production information, proper names, as well as the subject thesaurus. Fred Silva chaired the SUNY Albany Film Studies Program for two decades.
Budget Rationale

The majority of the expenses associated with this project are related to staff. The details are outlined above, with the discussion of project staff. To summarize, we are requesting funding for one full-time Project Manager/Programmer (at IU), one half-time equivalent Data Editor (at IU, which will probably be two part-time hourly employees), one half-time Graduate Assistant (at SUNY Albany), and a 7.5 hours per week of a Senior Editor's time at the Film and Television Documentation Center.

Other expenses are related to equipment and travel. We are requesting computers for the three temporary employees during the first year, two at IU and one at SUNY Albany. These computers are essential to complete project work. We are also requesting five trips per year for both years between Bloomington, Indiana, and Albany, New York. These trips will be necessary for project staff to share information and resolve issues that will arise during the course of the project.

The online version of the Film Literature Index (FLI) will be disseminated via the World Wide Web. It will be a keyword searchable database, and will allow users to search full entries or by fields such as author, article title, production title, journal title, director, subject, and geographic region. The FLI Web site will include background information about the FLI, the search and display interface, help files, contact information, and other relevant information. Dissemination on the Web follows the trend of moving research materials to the Internet and ensures that the FLI will reach the widest possible audience.

The IU Libraries' Development Office will create a publicity plan for the release of The Film Literature Index Online. The availability of the index will be widely publicized, both in print and electronically through listservs and electronic publications, such as LJ Academic Newswire. The database will also be promoted through professional organizations, such as the American Library Association/ACRL Film and Broadcast Studies Discussion Group and the Society for Cinema Studies. We will send press releases to all of the relevant meta Web sites, including Cinema Sites (, AFI's CineMedia (, and ScreenSite (; and register the site with Yahoo! We will also explore links from other online reference sources, such as the Internet Movie Database ( SUNY Albany will publicize the availability of the database to their current subscribers through direct mail and on their Web site.
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