Artemis: Primary Sources

Artemis: Primary Sources is an interface that searches across multiple humanities-related collections of primary sources. In addition to basic and advanced searching, Artemis features visualizations of the frequency with which terms appear. Artemis’ Term Frequency and Term Clustering visualizations are a simple form of text mining that show patterns and relationships in the database. Artemis also allows users to privately annotate and tag documents in personal folders that can be shared with others who do not have institutional log-ins to the databases. While the Artemis interface has some unique abilities and tools to visualize the results of searches, it does not have much information about the contents of particular primary source collections. For collection-level (rather than item-level) information, users must go to the standalone databases.

Artemis Primary Sources

Databases within Artemis: Primary Sources

As of this writing, depending on the configuration that a library has purchased, Artemis may contain one or more of these databases:  Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO); Nineteenth Century Collections Online (NCCO); The Making of the Modern World, 1450-1914; Sabin Americana, 1500-1926; Associated Press Collections Online (including video); and Indigenous Peoples: North America. The publisher Gale will continue to add to the collections that use the Artemis interface, bringing in all of their newspaper and periodical databases as well as the Declassified Documents Reference System and Archives Unbound by 2015. See the publisher’s migration schedule as of October 2013 for details.

Search and visualization

Similarly to the standalone versions of NCCO and ECCO, Artemis has a “Keywords in Context” function that pops up the search term in documents. Term Frequency and Term Clustering visualization tools facilitate discovery in Artemis. For tips on understanding the limitations of these tools, see historian Bob Nicholson’s blog post. Nicholson says about Artemis’ Term Frequency tool that the rather eclectic nature of NCCO makes this kind of long-term content analysis methodologically tricky. At the moment, if one document is included for the year 1800 and it mentions the required search term the graph will read 100%. See also Eileen Clancy’s blog post about Artemis.

Access to full-text, translations and sharing 

The Artemis interface has advantages that the standalone databases do not. In Artemis, the OCR’d text of documents may be downloaded, regardless of whether the standalone module (such as NCCO) offers downloading of the text (rather than a facsimile image). Users can select one of 30 languages for the database menus and links (although this does not translate the documents themselves). It is also possible to create an account to save documents, bookmarks, tags, and annotations of documents between sessions. These can be shared with people who do not have institutional access to Artemis or the standalone databases.

Finding sources of documents

To determine the original source of a particular document in Artemis when looking at a page of results retrieved from a search, click on “Full Citation.” After the page loads, scroll to the bottom to see the Full Citation box. Besides indicating the source library of the document, the Full Citation may also display a microfilm reel or manuscript number. If you want to search only documents that were obtained by the publisher from a certain library, use the Advanced Search function. Scroll to the bottom of the Advanced Search page, and click Source Library to choose the libraries that you are interested in.

Finding collection-level information

While the Artemis interface is useful for searches, obtaining full-text of documents, and possibly understanding patterns that appear in the collections, Artemis does not have detailed descriptions of each primary source collection. To see descriptions of the content of entire collections, users should leave Artemis and instead look in the standalone version of the primary source database. For links to NCCO and ECCO titles lists, click on the Facts tab for the NCCO and ECCO entries in Beyond Citation.

Date range: This varies based on the modules that the library has purchased. The date range for NCCO is 1540-1995; for ECCO it is 1701-1800. The range for The Making of the Modern World is 1450-1914.

Publisher: Gale Cengage

Publisher About page:

Object type: Books, Journals, Newspapers, Images, Ephemera

Location of original materials: Multiple

Exportable image: Yes

Facsimile image: Yes

Full text searchable: Yes

Titles list links: See listings for each module such as NCCO or ECCO on the publisher’s titles list page. Go to the Overview tab in the standalone NCCO entry in Beyond Citation for information on  how to locate more detailed titles lists for portions of NCCO.

Provenance: To see detailed information about the content of entire collections, users must go to the standalone version of the database. To find the source of a particular document in Artemis, look at the Full Citation at the bottom of the document page. Besides indicating the source library of the document, the Full Citation may also display a microfilm reel or manuscript number. If you want to search only documents that were obtained by the publisher from certain libraries, use the Advanced Search function. Scroll to the bottom of the Advanced Search page, and click Source Library to choose the libraries that you are interested in.

Original catalog: Multiple

Digitized from microfilm: some items

Original sources: Multiple. To see a list of sources, scroll to the bottom of the Advanced Search page in Artemis, and click Source Library.

Historian Bob Nicholson’s blog post discussing the features of Artemis.

Center for Research Libraries’ review of The Making of the Modern World, one of the modules that may be present in Artemis.

Click on WorldCat to see the library closest to you that has access to this database.

In the U.S., Gale offers telephone support at 1-800-877-4253, press option 4 when prompted.

Video tutorials

Basics (4:09)
Saving Documents, Annotations & Tags (4:39)
Searching (5:13)
Using Term Frequency & Term Clusters (3:10)
Working with Documents (4:30)

Search in Artemis

For a descriptions of and tips about understanding the search and text analysis tools within Artemis see historian Bob Nicholson’s blog post and also Eileen Clancy’s blog post.

Example of a scholar working with The Making of the Modern World collection

Jo Guldi. The History of Walking and the Digital Turn: Stride and Lounge in London, 1808–1851. The Journal of Modern History 84.1 (2012): 116–144. Paywalled article.

MLA style

To cite online and electronic works, MLA style, see the guides at Research and Documentation Online, 5th edition, Diana Hacker.

Citing the digital

While digital resources are ubiquitous, comparatively few scholars cite them, preferring instead to cite the print version. Yet if digital sources are not cited, it is impossible for archives, university libraries, funders and other entities to know whether the collections are useful and should be expanded, or to make evidence-based arguments for future digitization of other materials. Jonathan Blaney of the Humanities Research Institute offers an egregious example of this, saying that 31 million page views of British History Online over a two-year period resulted in only 89 citations in Google Scholar and Scopus combined. Blaney asks scholars to embrace the principle—cite what you used.

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