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Reviewed by:
  • The Database of Classical Bibliography ed. by Dee. L. Clayman
  • Gerald A. Press
Dee. L. Clayman, editor. The Database of Classical Bibliography. CD-ROM and manual. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1997. Pp. xvi + 120. $85 (individual); $340-2400 (institutional).

L ’Annee Philologique (APh) has long been one of the most important scholarly resources for students of the history of ancient philosophy. Even though in print form it contains errors and omissions, has become of unwieldy size, and does not appear promptly enough for up-to-date research, there is no other single source of such international comprehensiveness. It is far more inclusive in many respects than The Philosopher’s Index.

The Database of Classical Bibliography (DCB) is a long-term project sponsored by the N.E.H., the American Philological Association and others to make the full contents of APh accessible from a CD-ROM either from individual PCs or on a local network. Unlike the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae, the DCB CD-ROM comes with its own search software (DCB CompLex) on the disk. This software is set up both for IBM and MAC machines, installs quickly, and operates extremely well. The manual gives clear instructions both for general use and for detailed search strategies. CompLex enables the user to search DCD in many different ways; e.g., by ancient or modern authors and works, by titles, publisher, place of publication, year of publication, journal, modern language, or series name, as well as by APh volumes, years, page numbers, rubrics, and topics. It can also search by any word in a modern language (i.e., in Roman characters) or for words in a Greek index. And CompLex enables one to perform more complex searches utilizing wildcards and Boolean operators in a user-friendly form.

DCB Version 2, containing Volumes 45–60 (1974–1989), fulfills the editor’s initial commitment to make a new release available each year with the addition of three to five years, since it includes four years of APh (1973–74 and 1988–89) not on Version 1. Also new in Version 2 is a French interface and manual.

DCB has faults, however. It repeats mistakes that appeared in the print version of APh and contains other mistakes that did not originate in APh. Many were noted in reviews of Version 1, but this should not be surprising in a work of such magnitude as either APh or DCB. What is perhaps disturbing is that errors noted in Version 1 have not been corrected in Version 2, though it would not seem difficult to make use of the information provided by careful reviewers.

Nevertheless, DCB is a terrific scholarly tool. No college or university library should be without it. [End Page 619]

Gerald A. Press
Hunter College


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