Selected User Feedback
In the years since we have been online we have received (and usually replied to) thousands of email, fax, phone and postal messages regarding our materials and services. Along with some less flattering terms, we have been called visionary, cool, overwhelming, and -- in one delightfully hyperbolic email -- "the greatest thing since Newtonian physics" *. We have provided material from Chaucer and Jefferson to Gene Stratton-Porter and the Native American legends of Iktomi, from classical Chinese and Japanese literature to Boethius and Churchill.
We have helped out community colleges with limited textbook budgets, * allowed general readers to re-discover long-lost books * and find Christmas presents *, helped young students improve their grades *, made Virginia a more visible college for high school students * and contributed poems to wedding ceremonies. *
In short, we have done -- in a new medium and for a greatly expanded audience -- all the things that a good library, traditionally, has prided itself on doing.
The younger high school students -- who make up a large portion of our 300,000 hits a day -- are particularly striking users as they have a touching faith in the Internet's ability to answer all their questions, and to do it quickly: "I need the answer before I leave for school in 2 and a half hours"*. one hopeful requestor asked; another reported, "I presented my project today and got an A++! ...Without your help, this couldn't have been a good project"*. Teachers in the Ukraine find our texts a welcome change from "old books of Soviet period"*, and have provided material to help prepare students "for examinations for entry into the Japanese Civil Service."*.
I've always stressed that The University of Virginia Electronic Text Center is a local service charged with fostering a local user community, and much of our most informative feedback comes from discussions with an expanding but regular set of UVa faculty and students; however, there is no denying the interest we are developing in serving and learning from our much wider online clientele. Below is a small extract from my mailbag.
Former Director, Electronic Text Center
University of Virginia Library
Charlottesville, Virginia 22904
Can you tell me anything about your terminal for the visually impaired? I'm presuming that it has a larger screen area and displays info in larger type. ... Your Electronic Text Center sounds wonderful - the accessible library of the future. I'm really impressed.
Jun 22 1994 NEH staffer
Thank you very much for your time yesterday morning. The Center's decision to keep data separate from its processing and presentation is most sensible and I am sure will pay off in the future despite the expense and effort that it requires at the moment. I am pleased to know that the TEI guidelines are of assistance. Also, I found your interest in assisting and training the humanities faculty exemplary.
1995 Syracuse Univ professor -- Huck Finn Collection
Just wanted to drop a note to say that this is truly an outstanding resource. I'm sure it will get heavy classroom use. Thanks for putting it all together!
22 Dec 1995 firstname.lastname@example.org
Just a note of thanks for a truly cool and excellent resource.
I discovered your electronic text center recently and wanted to say thank you! I collect Frances Hodgson Burnett's out-of-print stories. I have searched for years without being able to discover many of them. However, I discovered you have over a dozen listed!
25 Feb 1996 email@example.com
Hi....great information ... My husband loves the works of James Whitcomb Riley and actually has all 10 volumes of The Complete works of James Whitcomb Riley.... and i personally love the artwork.
13 Mar 96 firstname.lastname@example.org
Just a short story that your center supplies a happy ending to: A long time ago my father put together a fantastic library, primarily stocked with works of the caliber found in the ETC collection. There is a certain joy in being able to restore that library and have it stored on a couple of ZIP diskettes. I needed to take the time to express my appreciation for the Collection forming at the ETC.
8 Apr 96 email@example.com
Thanks for your help with the poetry fragment. I had not expected such a timely response. My mother has been searching for the source of that fragment for ages now, having heard the poem from her father many years ago.
8 Apr 1996 Clemson Univ
I just wanted to write and tell you how much I love your browser for the King James Version of the Holy Bible! The web page for Bibles lists quite a few browsers and after sifting through them all--I must say that yours is the best. I find it especially handy for looking up words and phrases.
23 Apr 1996 Subject: Re: Charge of the Light Brigade
On Tennyson's work, apart from the remnants of Empire here, I have always found those words "Theirs not to make reply,: Theirs not to reason why: Theirs but to do ..." have sprung to mind so frequently in dealing with awkward questions from my children. Now, having the internet on the home computer, and they wanting to see if it really works - well, your page has shown how useful a little bit of knowledge and modern communication can be. For them to know they have a full library sitting in a small machine in the corner of the room is magnificent. But that can only be done it there are people like you to take the time and care to make those resources available. Please keep up your good work.
13 May 1996
Friends-- As far as I'm concerned, the UVA e-text collection is the greatest thing since Newtonian physics.
Jun 17 1996 firstname.lastname@example.org
I could not believe my good fortune when I found the text [Stratton-Porter=s The Harvester] on your all's server. You see, I had my own prized copy of the book, and then one day I came home from college and found out that my closet shelves were cleaned out; and along with it, this book.
21 Aug 1996 email@example.com
I am writing to you after accidentally coming across some content in your database that I believe was written by my Grandfather - Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen. This is really exciting for me as I know very little about my ancestors !! ... I have downloaded the book and am just printing it out. What a brilliant find.
8 Nov 1996 firstname.lastname@example.org
I think its wonderful that you all have made such great literature available to the public. Because of projects such as this one, young people may allow their love for surfing the web to lead them to discover a love for classic writing.
I just wanted to say "thanx!" I attend a community college in North Carolina. Our bookstore ran out of the new textbooks for an English course I'm taking, and don't expect to get any in for 2 weeks. So far I've been able to find the required reading in your Electronic Text Center. I only wish I would've found you earlier for some of my other courses. Your work is appreciated. i am just writing this to thank you for the wonderful source of modern English literary works. i am glad to see a wonderful centralized source for such information.
05 Dec 1996 email@example.com
I visited your ETC today and was blown away! I'm doing something similar here at Texas A&M but in the area of disability accommodation. We scan their course material during the semester and distribute via floppy, email and WWW. ... Your site is light years ahead of ours ... Until now, I thought I was the only one out there distributing course-related e-text in higher education. I'm so overwhelmed by what you've done, that I don't know where to start. I need to catch my breath before I can ask you some intelligent questions.
Can you please give me access to your English Poetry database service, I need to find a poem as a Christmas gift for my wife
1 Mar 1997 firstname.lastname@example.org
Fabulous site. I am UVA grad '81, and '83, and teach sunday school. I just found your electronic bible via lycos, and the results are fabulous.
5 Mar 1997 user@SAent.com
Wonderful service! Thank you for taking the time to provide us electronic bookworms with such a fine selection.
Mar 26 1997 email@example.com
I don't know how to thank all of those who have contributed so much to our ability to access so many remarkable books. We, the public, can only marvel at the lists of works which we can read at any time on our screens. Please continue with these projects; but even if you discontinued any additions from this time forth, you will have accomplished a memorable task. Thank you again.
1 Apr 97 firstname.lastname@example.org
As an author I am pleased to have this resource available to me via my computer. I will find this new information of utmost value to my research. It is with simple thanks that I applaud you for such a mammouth endeavor.
Thank you sooo much for the information about the Yeats poem. I had heard this poem in the movie "84 Charing Cross Road" and loved so much the way Anthony Hopkins read it that I decided to have it read in my upcoming wedding ceremony. I didn't think it proper to read it and not credit the author. Thank you again.
18 Sep 1997 email@example.com
Evangeline by H. W. Longfellow. I would like permission to print a copy of Evangeline from the internet. My sister is coming to visit from Germany and requested a copy.
11 Sep 1997 firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Anna Howard Shaw
Hello B I live in Big Rapids MI, where Anna Howard Shaw lived for a while as a young woman. I'm excited to find The Story of a Pioneer in your electronic library (not to mention all the other wonderrful resources there).
6 Nov 1997: email@example.com
Thank you for making Dickens's "A Christmas Carol" available on the Internet. It never fails to give enjoyment year after year.
13 Nov 1997 firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks Soooo much for the text of Beowulf. Read Tolkein's classic critique & needed to read it myself! Unavailable here unless I order it & buy it! Love ya!
5 Dec 97 email@example.com
Your searchable Revised Standard Edition Bible is terrific!! What an incredible resource you are providing! Thank you very much. Well done!
THANK you, and your staff, for a SUPERB job in setting up the Electronic Text WWW page. I've found it exciting, fun, and quite useful.
I'm looking for a VERY old poem [Bret Harte] may have written entitled "My Sister Will Be Down in a Minute". My mother (who is now deceased) won the state poetry award in Albany New York in about 1919 for reciting this poem. I can remember bits and pieces of the poem, but would like to have all of it for relatives and other family members. I'm not able to get to a public library for research as I am visually disabled and cannot drive. I'll be glad to do my OWN research on finding Bret Harte's poems...if you could please point me in the right direction!!
As a magazine editor and someone who always has to spend hours in libraries searching for reference on the classics I find this service a fundamental development in the difusion of culture. sites like this and the Perseus project should soon be funded by the federal government or The National Endowment For The arts and Humanities. Keep up this great site. Thanks.
A short while ago, I happened on the Smock Alley Promptbooks--I thought at your site. Am I dreaming? I have no special access privileges, but there it was, and a beautiful thing to behold: a linked facsimile and searchable text.
I've only today, in researching a project, discovered your Biblical electronic text service. Though I haven't entirely received the gift of faith - perhaps one day the spirit will descend - I must say it is a wonderful, truly helpful site, and I thank you much for it.
12 Jan 1998 firstname.lastname@example.org
I am a television producer in Fort Worth, Texas. I am interested in finding out about using one or two of the documents pertaining to Benjamin Banneker in a piece I am writing for Black History Month. ... I would use the documents in a thirty-second vignette about Mr. Banneker which would air on the local CBS affiliate.
15 Jan 1998
I just want to comment on the fine job you are doing in getting books over the web. My Mother does a lot of reading and I've been able to find several books that have been difficult to find for her to read. Keep up the good work. Hope you are able to keep going for a long time.
04 Apr 1998 email@example.com
Though I am not a student of your venerable institution, I have found this website both revelatory and well-constructed. I congratulate you on your commitment to such a helpful and inspirational project.
7 Apr 1998 firstname.lastname@example.org
just wanted to say that the Bible search engine is really helpful. most sites only let you put in a word, and grow confused when you type in a whole phrase, but this one was very exact and quick. thanks!
7 May 1998 email@example.com
Thank you for this page, It's been very helpful in my report on medevil Japenese literature. I was wondering if you had anymore informathion about this topic in particular. Any references, sources,etc would be very helpful!!
11 May 1998
I'm slowly building a bibliography on my web page relating to California Deserts, amongst other things... I've been searching for Mary Austin's "Land of Little Rain" for quite a while now and was surprised to see it in electronic form on your web site! Thank you so much for making this available; I thought that I'd never get to read it!
15 Aug 1998 firstname.lastname@example.org
I am a great collector of Hendrick Wilhelm Van Loon and was so happy to see your book entry of one of his books: The story of Mankind. I have through the years collected all of his books I believe except for "The Story of the Alphabet" , a copy of which I can not locate. Compliment on your good taste.
26 Aug 1998 email@example.com
I was reading 'Charge of the Light Brigade' by A.L. Tennyson on your website which brought back memories of my childhood where in stentorian voices we enacted or recited the poem. The dramatic lines and imagery of the verses was truly excellent.
Hello! First of all, let me thank y'all for having your etext "chapterized". With the webtv unit having such a small ram, I don't get very far on most sites. I've had 2 spinal fusions. Being able to read without holding the book (or having to take it back to the library) is definately a big help when my pain gets to ragin'.
I am a student at Fair Haven Union High School, I have an english paper on English poets. I have found that your homepage on English poets is the easiest and has the most information.
12 Oct 1996 firstname.lastname@example.org
i have to turn my paper in on monday the 14th and i still need some info about the plagiarism on kubla khan by coleridge. i have written 4 pages, but still need one more page. i've been doing a lot of research, but i'm kind of stuck. can you help me asap! or am i to late?
I am a teacher at Holy Cross School in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. I came across your Huck Finn website while doing research for our school play - "The Big River." I am currently in the process of creating a play program which our students would keep as a keepsake and would like permission to use some of the first edition illustrations in the program. In addition, I would also like to include a biography of Mark Twain and some of his comments which you have posted on the net with regard to Huckleberry Finn. Also, thank-you for an excellent teaching resource!
I was just surfing the net looking up poetry and I came upon your site. I think it is great. My son is a junior at Dixon High School. I think that this site would be helpful to him in his English class, not only this year, but also next year.
I am having difficulty explicating Percy Shelley's "To a Skylark". Do you know anything about this poem? I am having difficulty finding any valuable criticism. I have an A in this class so far, and I would like to keep it so please help me out if you can.
7 Jan 1997 email@example.com
Is it permissable to download several of your texts, print them, and then make multiple copies (ie. photocopying) for use in school classrooms? This could save us a lot of money. Thanks.
3 Feb 1997 firstname.lastname@example.org
I need any poetry dealing with monkey, apes, Gorillas. If you have anything it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
4 Apr 1997
I am doing a research paper in my English class on the effects of pantheism on Wordsworth and Coleridge. I am having a hard time finding info on these effects or on them in general. The effects I am speaking of is mainly on there writing and their lives.
By any chance would you know of an American author from the 19th century who wrote a story with Mother Shipton as the main character? I have searched and searched and I need the answer before I leave for school in 2 and a half hours.
19 Aug 97 email@example.com
Hello. I was looking at your medieval plays - most specifically the biblical ones. I teach at a Middle School, and we are hoping to put on a Medieval Faire in the fall. We were hoping to have a group of students act out one or two of the plays of the time as part of the entertainment. Would it be permissable to print copies of one or two of the plays for the students to use (I suspect, being grades 7 through 9, we'll have to update & simplify a bit) as a basis for putting on medieval themed-plays? Mount Slesse Middle School
I came across the UVa webpage while browsing the Internet and was extremely impressed. I was wondering how I would go about getting information about the university. I am a Junior in high school and would like to start my college-search early. Anything that you could tell me would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
19 Oct 1997 firstname.lastname@example.org
I have a paper due on Friday on "Thomas Jefferson and UVa." My teacher told me that if I wrote to this address, I could get some information.
1998 Torrington High school CT User@.chatlink.com
Hello. I am currently working on a project at my high school. My assignment, along with my class, is to convince our teacher of Alfred Lord Tennyson's worth as poet laureate. We have to convince her to appreciate him at least. I was wondering if you could refer me to a site with maybe a couple of good reviews or essys concerning this.??? My class would much appreciate it, as we are having a mighty difficult time locating resources that could be considered reliable or beleivable!!
I am writing an essay on The Cantebury Tales. I am having a lot of trouble and I was hoping that someone could help me get started, and give me ideas on which way I should take this essay. (like specific details)
I wrote you a while back concerning the images you have an Huckleberry Finn. I am writing to thank you.I presented my project today and got an A++! Again I would like to thank you. Without your help, this couldn't have been a good project.
3 Sep 1998 email@example.com
I'm an 8th grade student and i'm doing a project on iktomi and i was wondering if u have ne books on him. if possible the book iktomi and the ducks would be to most helpful.
11 May 1998 firstname.lastname@example.org
can you send me the book The Awakening please im in the hospital and i need a paper for school and i cant get to the library and my teacher doesnt understand and he wont give me more time im in need of this badly, thanks.
Vienna, Austria: Jan 1993
Thank you for your article The Electronic Text Center & On-line Archive of Electronic Texts. I believe that my colleagues working in Austrian academic and research libraries should also learn about your project. I would like to translate your article into German and get it published in the newsletter of the Association of Austrian Librarians
UK: Univ of London 1 Jul 1993
Very many thanks for your message and the details of your Electronic Text Center. What you are doing sounds very exciting, and I am grateful to know about it. We are not quite at that level yet! ...Your activities are a model I would like to talk to colleagues about!
UK: Univ of Exeter 16 Aug 1993
Thanks ... for the impressive account of the electronic paradise you have over there--I have filed it, against the day when a government should appear that actually values education, so that we might be able to afford some of the goodies.
Canada 10 Nov 1995 Canadian University
First I want to say how impressed I was by your presentation at the Conference in Fredericton. I was especially impressed by your stressing standards (SGML), quality (TIFF), and the value of full blown search/management software. I was especially fortunate that my University Librarian was also at the presentation, and she understood the value of doing things right.
Netherlands 18 Dec 95 email@example.com
To whoever made this: you are wonderful! So well done, such nice presentation. You do deserve thanks from any poetry lover on the net. Here's mine.
Japan 12 Dec 1995 firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi, I looked your web server. I like wanderful Ogura Hyakunin Isshu. It's a good web page.
Philippines 1996 02 03 email@example.com
This is great. I'm from the Philippines and a bookwork
Your Information is very very intersting and brilliant. Keep it UP. Do you provide any software
BRASIL. 4 Aug 1996 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Electronic Text Center, is a exeptional fount of the search and information.
UK 1997 email@example.com
I was delighted to find the Harley lyrics available at the E.T.C. I am working on a history of Leominster Priory and it is thought that these lyrics may have been transcribed by one of the monks at the Priory. You are offering a very valuable facility.
France : Paris: 30 Jan 1997
Hello, I just wanted to thank you for your wonderful site. I was very happy to find here many usefull texts. I'm student in the Sorbonne in Paris, and to be able to find the total History of Rome by Titus Livius was especially interressant. See you soon on your pages.
Taiwan: Mar 15 1997 firstname.lastname@example.org
Yours is a great library. Thanks.
I am currently working for a school in Osaka, Japan, which prepares students for examinations for entry into the Japanese Civil Service. My work involves writing practice questions for students to study both in the classroom and on their own at home. The majority of the questions involve reading an English passage of about 150 words in length, then answering a single multiple choice question about the content of the passage. A collection of these questions is currently being printed for limited commercial purposes, mainly to school bookstores in the Osaka area. What I would like is permission to use extracts from your library.
Good evening. I'm a teacher from Ukraine. From all my institute I'm the one who has an access to the Internet on-line. I know this is very bed, but our education resourses are too low. We have old books of Soviet period and teach our students on the materials which are not progressive and bed. Now I'm looking for some help in the world through the Internet If you can help it is gonna be very kind from your side. For the first step we need education literature. Everything that is good for today's students.
Korea 18 Jun 1997 email@example.com
I am a student of English Literature at In-ha University in Korea. Now, I'm in great trouble. I should prepare for the position paper for the final exam. So, I need somewhat difficult informations, such as the differencies between Shakespear's and Spenser's and John Donne's sonnet and John Donne's techniques in his Songs and Sonnet. What shall I do? Please, show me the way. please,.... If my bad English hurt you, I beg your great forgiveness and understanings.
Japan 10 Jul 1997
We are most impressed with the richness and good selection of your Etext Library. We would like to use some texts from "Good Stories For Great Holidays" in your library. We would be grateful if you could tell us if it would be possible to use the texts below and what we would be charged for using them. Purpose: inclusion in English teaching material intended for junior high school students. The material consists of a CD-ROM and a textbook.
Canada 13 May 1997 firstname.lastname@example.org
Extremely interesting web site. Congratulations on your efforts to underscore the potential of electronic research.
29 Dec 1997 user @tm.net.my
I found the text resource is very interesting and useful. I'm very much interested in English literature and other reference on African-American materials. This site is a good one. Keep it up.
Kazakstan 22 Aug 1997 email@example.com
We are KIMEP's students, Almaty, Kazakstan. Please, send us information about E.Trunk. We have heard about him but we did not have any chance to read his poetry. Thank you.
Canada 13 Dec 1997 firstname.lastname@example.org
I **love** your site. Thanks for making the internet worthwile!!
ITALY Torino, 29 March 1998 email@example.com
Thank you for making so many texts available to everybody. It is a great help especially in a foreign country where it is difficult to get hold of a book in its original form. (teacher English in an Italian state school).