WHAT IS THE OXFORD TEXT ARCHIVE?
The Oxford Text Archive is a facility provided by Oxfor University Computing Services. It has no connexion with Oxford University Press or any other commercial organisation and exists to serve the interests of the academic community by providing archival and dissemination facilities for electronic texts at low cost.
The Archive offers scholars long term storage and maintenance of their electronic texts free of charge. It manages non-commercial distribution of electronic texts and information about them on behalf of its depositors.
WHAT TEXTS DOES IT CONTAIN?
The Archive contains electronic versions of literary works by many major authors in Greek, Latin, English and a dozen or more other languages. It contains collections and corpora of unpublished materials prepared by field workers in linguistics. It contains electronic versions of some standard reference works. It has copies of texts and corpora prepared by individual scholars and major research projects worldwide. The total size of the Archive exceeds a gigabyte and there are over 1300 titles in its catalogue.
WHERE CAN I GET A CATALOGUE?
The Catalogue is available in paper form by post from the address below. It is also available in electronic form, either as a formatted file for display at a terminal or in a tagged form using SGML. These files are available from a number of different places under various names...
(1) on the Oxford VAX Cluster as
OX$DOC:TEXTARCHIVE.LIST and OX$DOC:TEXTARCHIVE.SGML
(2) from various ListServers, e.g. LISTSERV@BROWNVM
(send the mail message GET HUMANIST FILELIST for details)
(3) by anonymous FTP from Internet site ota.ox.ac.uk
Wherever you are, you can send a note to ARCHIVE@VAX.OXFORD.AC.UK specifying which form you want.
WHAT ARE THE TEXTS LIKE?
Because the texts come from so many different sources, they are held in many different formats. The texts also vary greatly in their accuracy and the features which have been encoded. Some have been proof read to a high standard, while others may have come straight from an optical scanner, Some have been extensively tagged with special purpose analytic codes, and others simply designed to mimic the appearance of the printed source. The Archive does not require texts to conform to any standard of formatting or accuracy.
All texts which are publicly available from the Archive's FTP server are first converted to a standard format. This format uses the international standard markup language SGML. Also, the texts provided in this way all conform to the Text Encoding Initiatives's Guidelines.
HOW USABLE ARE THE TEXTS?
Most of the texts can be used with commonly available text indexing and concordancing software, or can easily be converted for that purpose. All texts are held as `plain ASCII' files on magnetic tape, with no special formatting codes. Documentation of the coding scheme used in each text is supplied with it, wherever possible.
WHAT ABOUT COPYRIGHT?
Many of the texts in the Archive are subject to some form of copyright restriction. The Archive's obligations to its depositors generally restrict use of the texts to private study and research. In some cases, depositors have also authorised use of the texts in teaching. In all cases, users of the texts must agree not to use the texts commercially and not to redistribute copies of them without consultation.
HOW DO I ACCESS THE TEXTS?
If you are a registered user of Oxford University Computing Services (i.e. you have an account on OXFORD.VAX or black), just send an e-mail message to the username ARCHIVE (on either machine) specifying which texts you want to use and for what purpose.
If you are not a registered OUCS user, you can access only texts in categories P, U and A as described further below.
P category texts are in the public domain. No formality is needed for these texts. They can be downloaded directly by anonymous FTP, from ota.ox.ac.uk or from other sites offering this facility. Subject to agreement with our depositors we hope to increase the number greatly in the future.
U and A texts are usually distributed on magnetic tape or cartridge, though smaller texts can be sent on diskette. Texts can also be distributed over the network, provided that you have access to the Internet, as further described below.
Where copies are made on disk or tape, we make a small distribution charge to cover media and postage.
WHAT DO THE CODES IN THE CATALOGUE MEAN?
Each title in the list is preceded by a code made of of a single letter indicating the availability of the text (U, A, P, or X), in some cases followed by a star, a number identifying the text and another single letter which gives some idea of the size of the text.
X Available only to registered OUCS users. May not be copied U Freely available for scholarly use in private research. U* Freely available for scholarly use in private research and also
for teaching purposes.
A Available for scholarly use, but only with written
authorisation from the depositor. P Public domain text. Available without formality to anyone.
Size codes: A Size less than 512 Kb B Size between 512 Kb and 1 Mb C Size between 1 and 2 Mb D Size between 2 and 5 Mb E Size greater than 5 Mb
Depending on format, a standard 600 foot magnetic tape will hold up to 50 texts of size category A. Most texts of size code A will fit on a standard double density floppy diskette; any text of size code A or B will fit on a standard high density diskette.
WHAT DO I DO TO ORDER A COPY OF A TEXT?
Texts with availability code P may be downloaded directly, either from our anonymous FTP server at ota.ox.ac.uk or from other FTP servers on the InterNet. For more information on using FTP, please contact your local computing service.
F O R M O R E I N F O R M A T I O N
Oxford Text Archive email ARCHIVE @ UK.Ac.Oxford.VAX OUCS, 13 Banbury Road voice +44 (865) 273 238 Oxford OX2 6NN, UK fax +44 (865) 273 275
To reach the Oxford Text Archives:
gopher.tamu.edu gopher.litteratures.umontreal.ca dept.english.upenn.edu info.lib.uh.edu