Bryn Mawr Classical Review 04.06.01

Letter: Niermeyer on CD-ROM?

I wonder whether you would have an opinion concerning the following. Brill is considering bringing out a revision and possibly a CD-ROM version of Niermeyer's Mediae latinitatis lexicon minus. In either case, the transformation of the material contained in Niermeyer into an electronic database would be the first step. As the medieval editor for Brill, I am interested in consulting scholars about what they would expect from such a project, what they feel are the limitations of the current paper-version of Niermeyer and how they feel this might be improved, so that we can build a clearer picture of the needs to be satisfied in the future. Perhaps, I should stress that we are not aiming for any real increase in the size (1,600 double-column pages) or the price (currently $170) of Niermeyer. We are looking for an improvement in its functionality. For these reasons it would greatly help me if you could answer the following questions:

1. what do you feel are the limitations of Niermeyer in its present form?
2. how do you feel that such limitations could be overcome?
3. what suggestions would you have for a general improvement of the work, were it to be produced in a revised printed form?
4. how you think that Niermeyer on CD-ROM could fulfill needs not yet satisfied by the print version ?
5. if Niermeyer were available on CD-ROM what would most likely encourage you to use it?
6. what kind of features do you think the CD-ROM should offer ? e.g. Windows/Mac format ? .... callable from within another (wordprocessing) program ? .... material from searches downloadable/printable ? .... special indexes ? What sorts ? ....
7. what do you think the reaction of your department/library would be, if you requested them to buy Niermeyer on CD-ROM?
8. do you have any other suggestions regarding these ideas ?

Please, feel free to forward this request to third persons or to lists as you see fit.