LGBT Thought and Culture Alexander Street Press;
http://alexanderstreet.com/products/lgbt-thought-and-culture; to set up a free trial please go to: http://alexanderstreet.com/node/291?pid=322
content LGBT Thought and Culture hosts “the key works and archival documentation of LGBT political and social movements throughout the 20th century and into the present day.” It includes a host of primary source materials: letters, speeches, interviews, biographies, newspaper articles, memoirs, poetry, fiction, and ephemera, all chronicling the LGBT experience. The file offers entire books, some of them rare and some of which are winners of the Lambda Literary Awards and the Stonewall Book Awards. The database also contains the Magnus Hirschfeld Collection, including a number of the sex researcher’s surveys and questionnaires from his scrapbook, and journal articles from En la Vida and BLACKlines.
As of this review, the file comprises 2,674 sources equaling 60,816 pages; when completed, it will hold 150,000 pages of material, much of it from Alexander Street Press’s (ASP) content partners, which include the Kinsey Institute Archive and Library, Windy City Media Group, the National Archives at Kew, Flinders University, and LGBT publishers Alyson Books, Cleis Press, and Firebrand Books, along with trade and university publishers.
By the end of 2013, additional collections will be added from the Kinsey Institute, the National Archives in Kew, and others. The material in this database is cross-searchable with that in LGBT Studies in Video if a library subscribes to both resources.
usability The home screen offers a toolbar with links to home, browse, advanced search, playlists, “What’s New,” help, and a simple search box. Researchers can create online accounts within the system to make, edit, and share playlists. Below the toolbar is a “Welcome to the file” paragraph, as well as a column of links to browse all works, authors/creators, topics, and archival collections or to browse by material type (42 document types range from announcements and events listings to conference materials, general reference, manuscripts, press releases, and speeches or addresses). Beneath the welcome is a carousel of featured titles with a link to browse all titles.
I began by browsing the archival collections, which include the Harry Benjamin Collection (453 works by this endocrinologist, sex researcher, and one of the first “gerontotherapists”) and the Magnus Hirschfeld Collection (149 works by the German physician and sex researcher), both from the Kinsey Institute, as well as the Tracy Baim Editorial Files (1,729 documents from the reporter, researcher, and editor/publisher of the Windy City Times). These amazingly complete and detailed collections include original works as well as ephemera and clippings from a multitude of publications. There’s historical and current news material covering local to global events, from the macrocosmic to the highly personal, all detailing LGBT lives and issues.
Browsing the list of topics I was intrigued to find baseball listed and clicked that item, which turned out to be a picture of Dave Pallone from the Tracy Baim Editorial Files. Keywords listed for the item were “Dave Pallone; Gay & Baseball,” which didn’t tell me much more, but a quick Wikipedia lookup found Pallone’s New York Times best-selling autobiography, Behind the Mask: My Double Life in Baseball, which describes “his experiences as a gay man working in baseball.”
Unfortunately, it can take a while for images to load, and it’s not always clear that the system is loading them. Also, once I selected a document to view from a browse list, I couldn’t find an easy way to go back to the list but had to start over within the section I was browsing.
A simple search for Lorraine Hansberry returned 20 items, a few of which were not about the playwright, but a search in quotation marks, “Lorraine Hansberry,” found 17 items about her. Similar searches for noteworthy individuals yielded good results: “Audre Lorde” found 68 results, “Harvey Milk” uncovered 25, and “Gladys Bentley” revealed nine. A search for “Daughters of Bilitis” found 30 results, and a scan of those led to the full text of Joanne Passet’s Sex Variant Woman: The Life of Jeanette Howard Foster (Da Capo, 2008). Foster was the first librarian at the Institute for Sex Research founded by Alfred Kinsey (a search for “Alfred Kinsey” found 615 results, not surprising given that the institute is one of the publishing partners for this collection).
Advanced search offers options to search all; text, transcripts and notes; title; series; collection; author/creator; subject; publisher; material type; language; subtitle; and year released and to sort results by relevancy, title, or date of recording. I tried a search in “All” for judy garland rainbow and to my surprise found another full-text book: John Carlyle’s Under the Rainbow: A Memoir of Judy Garland, Rock Hudson, and the End of Old Hollywood (Carroll & Graf, 2012). Another advanced search, for lesbian brides, located Here Come the Brides! Reflections on Lesbian Love and Marriage, edited by Audrey Bilger and Michele Kort (Seal Pr., 2012).
I hadn’t created any playlists, so none were listed, but a search using the word “gay” located a series created by ASP’s Nathalie Duval, including a playlist on gays and the military. In it is the pamphlet “Lift the Ban” by Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) from the Tracy Baim Editorial Files, as well as the full text of Reichen Lehmkuhl’s Here’s What We’ll Say: Growing Up, Coming Out, and the U.S. Air Force Academy (Perseus, 2007) and the text of Able, Heigle, Osborn, Spencer, von Wohld, and Zehr v. United States of America (the case from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit that upheld “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (10 USC 654).
pricing LGBT Thought and Culture is available through annual subscription or one-time purchase of perpetual rights, with prices scaled to institutional size and budget. Yearly subscriptions begin at $749.
verdiCt The content here is unusual and exceptional—a combination of philosophy, biography, sociology, religious studies, cultural studies, psychology, news reports, politics, art, whimsy, and gender experience recorded by people who lived it. LGBT Thought and Culture will be a useful acquisition for libraries serving serious researchers in anthropology, cultural studies, history, human rights, philosophy, political science, psychology, and queer studies.
By Bonnie J.M. Swoger
Content For over a decade, the Psychotherapy.net website has created and sold psychotherapy DVDs. Recently, it has made its materials available via streaming video. The complete collection includes more than 200 psychotherapy and counseling training items, although smaller subsets of the top 50 or 100 items are available for license.
There are two primary audiences for these resources. The first consists of individual therapists and counselors who seek to learn about new techniques and gain continuing education (CE) credits in order to obtain a license for personal use. Tests and CE credits can be accessed for an additional fee. Second, the collection is aimed at educators and managers looking for educational materials for their students and staff. Many of the videos include an “instructors” manual that presents tips, summaries, discussion questions, role-playing scenarios, and a transcript of the video.
The platform contains material on a wide variety of therapeutic techniques such as art therapy (“Creative Therapy in Mental Health,” “Expressive Art Therapy in Action”), group therapy (“Encounter Groups for Addictions,” “Getting Control of Yourself”), solution-focused therapy (“I’d Hear Laughter: Finding Solutions for the Family,” “Solution-Focused Child Therapy”), and cognitive-behavioral therapy (“A Cognitive-Behavioral Perspective on Aggression,” “Assessing ADHD in the Schools”). Video topics include strategies for helping patients with issues such as depression, domestic violence, eating disorders, relationships, anxiety, addiction, and anger management.
The videos offered are between one and two hours long and can be played within the web browser or as full-screen videos. Production values vary, sometimes owing to the age of the material, but the quality was only distracting as videos first started and were a bit grainy. The titles are provided in a mix of formats. I previewed documentary-style materials, a traditional “talking head” lecture, interviews (with and without a studio audience), and reenactments of therapy situations.
Title lists are grouped by collection, although I had trouble determining complete metadata for many of the films presented. Creation dates were very difficult to find for most videos: the end credits or instructor guides were often the only place this material was noted. Also, on occasion, videos that were obviously produced 15–20 years ago (judging by hairstyles, shoulder pads, and other textual cues) only included the release date when they were posted online.
Usability The engaging Psychotherapy.net homepage features blog posts, news articles, and information on new video offerings. Users can quickly and easily browse the assortment of materials on offer by clicking one of several “Watch videos” links on the homepage. Options include new releases, best sellers, and entries sorted by approach, therapeutic issue, expert, or population (men, women, children, couples, families, etc.).
There is a user-friendly site search function on each page in the upper right-hand corner. The results list breaks down items by type: a search for “acceptance and commitment therapy,” for example, returned 16 videos, two interviews, one article, and 17 CE courses. After clicking on a title, users can read a description of the video and watch a brief preview. Individual or group licenses are for sale, and the site also offers CE course credit.
Although the database is easy to navigate (either directly from the homepage or via a search), there is a disconnect between the videos available and those already purchased. For example, I found a video I was interested in from skimming the webpage, but it couldn’t be streamed directly from its description page. I needed to click “My Library” and then browse to the selected title. Fixing this disconnect would make the platform more user-friendly.
Streaming videos are accessible via the “My Video Library” or “View My Account” links found on all pages. Videos in the library are viewable by the same categories on the main website: approach, therapeutic issue, expert, or population. Alternatively, users may search within “My Video Library.” There isn’t an advanced search option, but the small size of the collection so far means that this would rarely be necessary.
Once patrons click on a title, a brief description appears as a pop-up, and they then click “View Video” to watch the complete item. When the new page loads, the video starts playing in a viewer about the same size as a standard YouTube clip. A description of the video can be seen on the right, and a complete transcript of the material automatically scrolls in time with the video at the bottom of the screen.
Users can turn on closed-captioning by clicking the CC icon that appears when the mouse moves over the video window and easily watch the video in full-screen mode. Useful features include the opportunity to download or print video transcripts as well as the ability to stop the automatic scrolling of the transcript. Many videos are separated into chapters that can be accessed by clicking the table of contents located to the right of the video.
Particularly valuable is that Psychotherapy.net allows users to create video clips by simply selecting a section of the video transcript and clicking “Make Clips.” This lets instructors jump to specific portions of the video during classes or training. Clips are only accessible via the main page for each video. It would be especailly helpful if users could see all of their clips from their account page, however.
Pricing The Psychotherapy.net streaming videos are sold in bundles, with annual pricing as follows: the “Essential Collection” of the top 50 videos is $2,500; the 100-video “Expanded Collection” is $3,750; and the “Full Collection” of all Psychotherapy.net videos is $6,000. An “Exclusive Collection” of all videos from the past five years costs $3,750 annually. Additional videos can be purchased at a discount for subscribers. Titles are also available to buy individually.
Verdict For universities with programs focused on clinical therapy practice, this may be a worthwhile subscription, but the cost will put the large packages out of reach for most undergraduate institutions. Since group licenses can be purchased individually, educators may be able to select titles that will help them in class. Health-care organizations looking for continuing education opportunities will find the streaming platform easy to use and administer.