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Los Angeles Public Library

When the Los Angeles Public Library decided to place its special collections on the Internet, they chose DB/Text® Interactive WebPublisher.


Because DB/Text Interactive WebPublisher provides librarians and archivists with the perfect way to manage and disseminate diverse types of data – text, multimedia and images – via the Web.

DB/Text Interactive WebPublisher powers Los Angeles’ "Electronic Neighborhood"

In a sense, DB/Text® Interactive WebPublisher allows Matthew Mattson, the Photo Imaging and Database Consultant for the Los Angeles Public Library, to be in 67 places at once.

"One of the things we really liked about DB/Text Interactive WebPublisher was that you can create and edit records through a Web browser with a server," said Mattson. "It’s a big consideration when you are so spread out.

"Otherwise, I would have to go to all 67 branches of the Los Angeles Public Library to install the software. That could take a year."

DB/Text Interactive WebPublisher is one of the key building blocks of the Los Angeles Public Library’s "Electronic Neighborhood", a one-stop resource for information on California and regional history topics.

DB/Text Interactive WebPublisher supplies the infrastructure for this special collection, making it possible for them to share indexes and visual resources previously only available to individuals actually visiting the library. DB/Text Interactive WebPublisher also allows the Electronic Neighborhood to provide valuable links to other regional history and informational Web sites.

By searching its databases, a patron can access data and visual images – indexes, documents and photographs – that provide unique information on local communities, neighborhoods and people that date back hundreds of years.

Some of the applications the staff has developed for the Internet using DB/Text Interactive WebPublisher include:

  • California Index (An index to people, places and events in the state, with emphasis on Southern California. "The speed at which you are able to search is impressive," says Mattson. "I know we have over one half million records in the California Index, and with DB/Text Interactive WebPublisher, we can get through it very quickly."
"One of the most important reasons we chose Interactive WebPublisher was because it could handle images," said Mattson. "We have 30 databases on Interactive WebPublisher, and currently three of them have images. Eventually as many as 12 of them may have images.

"We also liked the fact that Interactive WebPublisher is easy to use. We have lots of staff personnel using the software, so it wouldn’t be very practical to have a system that took a long time to learn.

"Once the databases are set up, this system is quite user friendly."

  • Turnabout Theatre (So called because after watching the first show on one stage, fans would swivel their chairs and watch the second show on another stage. This theatre presented adult marionette comic drama, live music, and comedy from 1941 to 1956. The collection, containing photographs, documents, props and costumes, has been cataloged and the images digitized).
  • Menu Collection (A database of restaurant menus from Los Angeles and other cities, steamships, airlines, and banquets. Images of the actual menus are displayed in the database. The address and telephone number of the restaurant is given, plus the menu date, cuisine type, meal, and price range. When screenwriters research a restaurant scene from an earlier era, they often use this database). To check out the menu collection, click here.

"DB/Text Interactive WebPublisher has been a real asset in helping us bring our special collections to the Web," said Mattson. "It has all the right characteristics to help us get the job done."


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Revised: 10/03/05