1997-98 ANNUAL REPORT
Charles E. Jones and John C. Sanders
During spring 1998, the Oriental Institute's website achieved the venerable age of four years. About a year after the site went public, we proudly announced that we were getting about thirteen thousand hits each week; a year later, just after the second anniversary, usage had increased to about thirty thousand hits per week; at this time last year we were reporting that we had passed the seventy-five thousand hits per week mark, and now we can claim that our average weekly total is well above one hundred thousand hits.
Following are some thoughts about these statistics. We experienced a noticeable drop in usage following the end of the academic year. This drop appears to be connected with usage from schools and colleges. While is not clear whether such usage is as a part of curriculum, or simply because access is easier from well-networked institutions, or a combination of the two, a significant proportion of our hits come from that sector. While our site has grown steadily, it is the pool of users around the world that has grown more significantly. Through our website we are able to give access to materials at the Oriental Institute to "visitors" who would never have had the opportunity to visit us in person, or who might now choose to visit us when the museum reopens, having had the opportunity to discover us beforehand on the web. Websites everywhere have exploded with complexity and are buried under the weight of advertising. The Oriental Institute's presence remains strictly non-commercial, and while we have some reasonably complex components, such as the Royal Achaemenid Inscriptions Project pages and the Virtual Museum, we have not given in to the temptation to dazzle viewers with a complex and slow loading home page.
As always, the future of electronic resource management looks exciting. Newly breaking developments in programming offer opportunities for access to materials that we barely conceived of only a few years ago. As outlined in other pages in this Annual Report, many developing projects at the Institute have electronic components as integral parts of the data collection, analysis, and presentation. With the promise of such things, we fully expect the future growth of the Oriental Institute's Electronic Resources to outstrip the past.
Ancient Near East (ANE) Mailing List
The ANE mailing lists continue to be among the primary electronic media uniting scholars and the interested public world-wide in the study of the ancient civilizations. The ANE, ANENEWS, ANE-Digest, and ANENEWS-Digest lists currently have between 1,400 and 1,500 subscribers world-wide, with a daily average of 10 mailings to each subscriber and a peak output of 20-25 messages. A wide range of topics are discussed on the ANE list: new discoveries and publications in the field, public debate on controversial issues of policy and scholarship, job placement information, and other musings by subscribers.
To subscribe to the ANE mailing list, send an electronic mail (e-mail) message to:
In the body of your e-mail message, include one of the following lines:
- subscribe ane
- subscribe anenews
- subscribe ane-digest
- subscribe anenews-digest
You will receive a return e-mail immediately confirming your subscription. We welcome either active or passive participation.
The Computer Laboratory and the Research Archives collaborate in the running of the ANE discussion group. John Sanders oversees the Majordomo computer program which automates the routine administration of Internet mailing lists and Charles Jones administrates the ANE list itself.
Oriental Institute World-Wide Web Database
In an effort to make finding information on our website easier and more efficient, the Public Programs pages were redesigned in winter 1997. They now allow access to all of our documents by means of a database searchable by keyword, author, or title. Try out our new searchable Table of Contents at (note: all web addresses below are case-sensitive):
Several Oriental Institute projects developed new website presence's or updated existing pages with new information during the past year.
- Chicago House Bulletin. Epigraphic Survey
Twelve Chicago House Bulletins (January 1994 through August 1997) are now available.
- Thebes Photographic Project, Thomas Van Eynde
- Achaemenid Royal Inscriptions Project, Matthew W. Stolper
- The Giza Plateau Mapping Project. Mark Lehner
- Qadmoniot and the `Yahad' Claim. Norman Golb
Comments on recent article in Qadmoniot 30 (114) 1997/98: 134-36.
All of the museum's Highlights from the Collections pages were reformatted to improve the presentation of artifacts and for security reasons:
Museum Education now has Electronic Registration via the Institute's website for their events and activities:
Recommended Reading on the Ancient Near East: Guide to Introductory Readings on Ancient Near Eastern World:
Dissertation Proposals in ancient Near Eastern Studies approved by the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations of the University of Chicago:
- Socioeconomic Organization of Metalworkers During Late Bronze Period at Ugarit. Jill Ashley Fine
- Technological Style in Early Bronze Age Anatolia. Elizabeth S. Friedman
- Structural Analysis of Ben Sira 40:11-44:15. Eric Reymond
First installment of Oriental Institute Map Series:
Membership and Development
In late 1997 the Membership and Development Offices unveiled an electronic membership renewal and subscription option and a page for electronic pledges. Please see the following pages for more information:
Brief synopses of each publication in the Publication's Office Catalog were added:
The entirety of the text and images of the 1996/97 Annual Report, including some 52 articles and 88 illustrations, is now on line:
Revised: February 23, 2007