A World Wide Web Disciplinary Server
Project Number 04 – 1994
Co-Directors of the Labyrinth
1209 12th St. N.W.
Washington D.C. 20005
Fax: (202) firstname.lastname@example.org
Other Individuals And Organizations Associated With The Project
The Labyrinth International Advisory Board:Patrick Conner, West Virginia University
William Schipper, Memorial University, Newfoundland
Michael Neuman, Georgetown University
Penn Szittya, Georgetown University
Peter Flynn, University College Cork, Ireland
David Seaman, University of Virginia
Hoyt Duggan, University of Virginia
Mary Wack, Washington State University
Stuart Lee, Oxford University
Marilyn Deegan, Oxford University
The Labyrinth Georgetown Technical Support Team:
Jay Whittle (Systems support)
Scott Allen (Systems support)
BethAnn Bergsmark (Graphics and pedagogical tools)
Paul Mangiafico (World Wide Web and e-text support)
Michael Neuman (E-text and humanities computing support)
The Labyrinth creates connections to universities, organizations, libraries, and government agencies too numerous to list, providing collaborative associations among diverse resource providers.
The Labyrinth is a global information network providing free, organized access to electronic resources in medieval studies through a World Wide Web (W3) Internet server at Georgetown University. The Labyrinth’s easy-to-use menus and hypertext links provide automatic connections to databases, services, and electronic texts and images on other servers around the world. In addition, the Labyrinth will include a full range of new educational resources: an electronic library, on-line forums, professional directories, on-line bibliographies, an “on-line university” of teachers and scholars available for consultation via e-mail or real-time “talk,” and an archive of pedagogical tools. The Labyrinth is an open-ended, interdisciplinary project and is designed to grow and change with new developments in technology and in medieval studies. This project not only provides an organizational structure for medieval studies, but also serves as a model for similar, collaborative projects in other fields.
The Labyrinth was officially opened to the public on May 2, 1994. Our statistics of use, based on only one month’s traffic (May 1994), reveal that the Labyrinth is being used by a wide range of academics and non-academics from 25 countries around the world. We have complete records documenting all requests for Labyrinth files from the server at Georgetown, and among the 9300 requests in the log, we can identify users from educational, government, military, and commercial institutions and organizations. The Labyrinth is reaching an enormous audience, and our correspondence with an incredibly diverse range of interested people demonstrates the great potential for developing World Wide Web disciplinary servers for other subject areas.
Please feel free to explore the Labyrinth yourself. From Mosaic, Lynx, or any other World Wide Web client, go to the URL
If you have questions about how to access or use a World Wide Web client, or if you have questions about the Labyrinth itself, please contact us at the address above.
The Labyrinth project represents a new form of outreach in education and research that we encourage other institutions and organizations to develop, and therefore our project is particularly well-suited to the interests of the Coalition Working Group on Teaching and Learning. World Wide Web technology creates unprecedented opportunities for educators “to enrich scholarship and to enhance intellectual productivity,” and the Labyrinth provides a successful example of how a W3 disciplinary server can be organized and developed to make the best use of this technology. We have developed a collaborative system whereby scholars, students, librarians, publishers, software developers, and others around the world can not only access and use Labyrinth resources, but also effectively add to these resources. For example, we are working with university presses to make a larger selection of academic texts, journals, and anthologies available on-line. We are working with graduate students to develop student directories, a register of dissertations in progress, and on-line forums. We are working with professors who now offer courses not only in the classroom, but also via the Internet. We provide connections to libraries around the world, including small research libraries with specialized collections, and in the near future will provide access to digitized images of manuscripts, allowing scholars and students to do primary manuscript research even if they lack the time and funding for travel to remote libraries and collections. By coordinating our efforts with those of others who are actively developing electronic resources, we have not only been able to “do more with less,” but in fact we have effectively built the Labyrinth with almost no direct funding; we offer a world of resources with few financial demands on our host institution.
The World Wide Web, with its hypermedia capabilities and potential for sophisticated global networking, has expanded the opportunities for research and pedagogy exponentially. We believe that it is vital for us to shape the changes in our profession rather than being overtaken by them, and as developers of a successful and highly productive Web project, we would be pleased to share our experience with others in the educational community.
Our presentation would be a live demonstration of the Labyrinth and World Wide Web technology, and therefore we would require a 486 PC running Windows with a direct Internet connection, Mosaic (free software), and an overhead projection monitor.