Wikis Come into Focus
By Bruce McKinney
Wiki Bibliographies and Reductive Pooling
Wiki Bibliographies are the answer to two questions:  what material lies within a field and  which items are available today. Wiki Bibliographies are narrowly focused on specific collecting areas, always evolving and ever more complete. They are intended to encompass a subject completely. They are living bibliographies. Online listings require some degree of search expertise and a great deal of time to conduct the searches. Wikis organize collecting fields by listing all relevant material in a bibliography and then searching listings and auctions for matches. In the current iteration material in Books for Sale and upcoming auctions are matched. For AE subscribers the two million records in the American Exchange Database will be linked later this month. The premises of this approach are simple:  there is too much material and  never enough time. Wikis will bring entire subjects into immediate view with reductive pooling, the systematic inclusion of the relevant which is gathered for the Wiki each day. Efficiency matters.
Currently there are four Wikis open to the public. None are complete. All are under development and fourteen others will be up by April. Additional Wikis will be announced as this project takes hold.
How do I use a Wiki?
Wiki Bibliographies are a link under free services in the menu listed down the left side of most AE screens. Select Wiki Bibliography to go to the Wiki Start Page.
Here there are two choices:  Select a Wiki Bibliography from the drop down list or  Propose a new Wiki Bibliography. For those persons interested to discuss becoming the Wiki Bibliographer for a specific project click here to propose a subject. Include your telephone number. To view the list of Wikis that are currently available select the down button and then GO.
For an interesting example of a Wiki select Rondout & Kingston, New York and then GO. In this example 92 items have been posted for this area midway between New York City and Albany on the Hudson River. The area has a complex history and no existing bibliography. This Wiki will become the definitive record of its materials over the next few years.