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November 1991


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Jeremy Butler <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 6 Nov 1991 17:27:34 CST
text/plain (65 lines)
On Wed, 06 Nov 91 09:15:09 EDT Anita said:
>How can we access the OPACs you mentioned?  What is UT?
>Thanks ------> Anita
>----------------------------Original message----------------------------
>I assume, fr'instance, that folks on this list know how to use
>Telnet to access the on-line catalogues of libraries throughout
>the world.  Did you know that UT (Denton, I think?) keeps a list of
>hundreds of such libraries addresses?
Glad to help out, Anita.
The key to accessing on-line catalogs from distant universities is the
ability to use Telnet.  If you don't know about Telnet, you'll need to
get one of your university's computer overlords to explain it because
its implementation differs considerably from one site to another.
But, once you understand Telnet, then it's pretty simply (though far
from reliable) to zip around the world.  For example, to access Brown
University's library (Providence, RI) from here in Alabama, I just enter
the command:
This Telnets me over to Rhode Island.  I enter the phrase DIAL JOSIAH to
enter the library system (named for Josiah H. Carberrry, apocryphal
professor of ancient ceramics) and suddenly it's as if I'm sitting at a
terminal in the Rockefeller Library.
To find all these libraries, however, you need a list of their addresses
(e.g., BROWNVM.BROWN.EDU) and instructions on what to do once you get
there via Telnet (e.g., enter DIAL JOSIAH), this is where the University
of North Texas (UNT) comes in.
UNT maintains a fat ol' list of on-line bibliographic databases.  This
list is available for "anonymous FTP."  FTP is a cousin to Telnet.  It
stands for File Transfer Protocol and may be used to glom onto binary
files (regular BITNET/Internet file sending is limited to text files).
Most times you need to get permission and passwords to use a
university's FTP, but some sites offer FTP to the public.  You just log
on as "anonymous" (and usually use your own userid as a password) and
then start transferring files.
Once again, the ins and outs of FTP, like Telnet, must be explained at
your particular location.  Once you get that straightened out, then
visit VAXB.ACS.UNT.EDU--the anonymous FTP site
run by UNT.  There you'll find several files that list on-line
university libraries.
Hope this makes some sense.
Stay tuned for part 2:  The actual names of the files that you should
look for.  (I have to FTP on over there and see just what they're
          There are times when you have to choose between being human
          and having good taste.  --Bertolt Brecht--
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