RETICULUM: An Internet gateway to neuroscience history resources

Russell A. JOHNSON
Neuroscience History Archives, Brain Research Institute; and History and Special Collections Division, Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095 USA

During the past five years, the Neuroscience History Archives (NHA) at UCLA has developed tools--from listservs to World Wide Web sites--to assist neuroscience historians in harnessing the chaotic and ever-changing Internet to supplement and in some cases replace other forms of communication and information distribution and retrieval. This presentation will concentrate on RETICULUM: Neuroscience History Resources <http://www.medsch.ucla.edu/som/bri/archives/RETICULM.htm>. This website complements Neil Busis' Neurosciences on the Internet utility (which focuses on information sources supporting contemporary neuroscience research, development, policy, and teaching), serving as a meta-site or gateway that organizes pointers or links to the burgeoning pool of individual Internet resources that may be of interest to historians of neuroscience. We will report on progress in collecting, evaluating, selecting, and verifying links to existing sites as well as generating content--such as announcements, directories of repositories, images and texts--which might not otherwise be available on the Web. RETICULUM's array of links presently connect to various professional societies, Internet forums, placement and funding opportunities, image databases, online exhibitions, and antiquarian dealer and book searching utilities. Some upcoming features will link to or improve upon resources offered by other history of science, medicine, and technology websites and gateways. For this project to be useful and flourish, however, we must also rely on input from established as well as potential users whose expertise and familiarity with specific topics, individuals and eras gives them the appropriate perspectives from which to evaluate the quality of RETICULUM's structure and relevance of its contents. Prioritized suggestions of additional Internet resources to procure, refine, or even create--such as history of recent science portals which the Sloan Foundation is funding through various professional societies, including the Society for Neuroscience--will be appreciated, as we continue to identify the concerns and expand efforts to meet the information needs of the neuroscience history community.


Session VIII -- Later 20th Century: Current Issues
Tuesday, 13 June 2000, 4:30 - 5:00 pm

Fifth Annual Meeting of the International Society for the History of the Neurosciences (ISHN)

Providence, Rhode Island, USA