For the last six months, the NINES Research and Development team has been re-working, re-designing and re-indexing the material in our Collex interface. Our hope is that the new face of NINES is not only easier to use, but also allows for more robust searching and collecting.
Searching in NINES works in much the same way as before: use the search blank on the Home page, or click on the Search tab for more advanced options. We’ve refined these options so that the old “name” search has been replaced with “Author,” “Editor,” and “Publisher” options, as well as a 4-digit year search and a new “Title” field.
When you are signed in to your free Collex account, you will also be able to view your saved searches and collect objects. Objects already in your collection will be shaded gray, so you’ll never again find yourself collecting the same object twice.
The NINES tag cloud has been restricted to display user-added keywords only. The frequency of their use is shown by their relative size, thus showing predominant areas of interest. Start typing into the “filter tags” box and it will restrict the tag cloud to items with similar character strings, and use the slider at the upper right, to scale the cloud as you would like.
You are encouraged to tag items as you conduct your searches in NINES, not just for your own organizational purposes, but to keep the NINES tag cloud a robust and dynamic reflection of ongoing research in NINES. While tags will be tallied and visible in the tag cloud, any and all annotations you make will remain private, for your eyes only.
The Exhibit Builder, formerly available in restricted release, is now open to the public. We recommend exploring the Exhibits already made by members of the NINES Executive Council, especially our Featured Exhibit by Jerome McGann, An Introduction to D.G. Rossetti, to get a sense of the kinds of illustrated essays that are possible using our software. We’re continuing to refine this part of NINES and, as always, we welcome your feedback.
Finally, the newest feature of NINES is the My 9s page: a virtual workspace where you can manage your objects, edit your tags, and begin to build Exhibits.
Currently, this page is visible only to you, although in the future we plan to expand the social networking aspect of this area of the site. The main My 9s page serves as a kind of Dashboard for your NINES activities: your saved searches are listed above a personal tag cloud (showing your tags only), and your most recently collected objects are shown. If you click on the “My Objects” link in the navigation at the top of the screen, you’ll reach a page where you can sort through all of your objects and tags, and edit your exhibits.
Of course, NINES is more than the Collex interface, and you can learn more about our institutional goals under the About Section. There you’ll find contact information, and more about our Summer Conference in Dublin, July 2009.