On Tuesday Gale, part of Cengage Learning, announced a new database product, Gale Artemis. Named by the company “for the Greek goddess who symbolizes new ideas, discovery, power and ‘the hunt’,” Artemis will combine several existing Gale databases to create what the company claims is the world’s largest offering of digital humanities scholarship.
The two components of Artemis are primary sources (130 million pages worth) and secondary material covering literature. Phase one of the project, which will offer 70 per cent of Artemis’s eventual content, includes the company’s Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) and Nineteenth Century Collections Online (NCCO) and its Literature Resource Center and other literature resources. Further literature-related materials will be added on a rolling basis over the next two years. Librarians can get a “sneak peek” at the resource at the upcoming ACRL conference, says Frank Menchaca, Executive Vice President, Research Solutions, Cengage Learning, with a full launch at the ALA Annual conference this summer.
The idea of creating Artemis, explains Menchaca, came about two years ago when the company was working on the component primary-source databases covering the 18th and 19th centuries. Gale knew that it wanted those resources to eventually be cross-searchable. Work on getting Artemis up and running only began in September 2012, but since planning for it developed in concert with the creation of ECCO and NCCO, incubation was rapid.
Why humanities? “It’s our sweet spot,” says Menchaca, adding that Gale’s embedding of textual analysis tools in ECCO and NCCO matches the growing use of such tools in the burgeoning field of digital humanities. “Humanities scholars are now looking at patterns over entire corpuses of material,” says Menchaca, and Artemis will accordingly offer analytics capabilities such as engrams that examine the occurrence of terms over time, and “term clusters” that display the 100 words appearing before and after a search term to show context.
Artemis is mainly aimed at academic libraries, but larger public libraries are potential customers too, says Menchaca. The libraries that buy the service will have access to Gale’s existing training and marketing assistance programs. While the company has not announced pricing yet, Menchaca explains that institutions that subscribe to a component part of the new combined database will get a break on the cost.