REFERENCE MATERIALS

Digital Databases

Topics included here:

1. General

2. Digital Bibliographies

3. Digital Dictionaries

4. Digital Source Materials

1. General

Jeffreys-Jones, Rhodri. "Review Article: Manual Indices and Digital Pathways: Developments in United States Intelligence Bibliography." Intelligence and National Security 9, no. 3 (Jul. 1994): 555-559.

Reviews Petersen; Electronic Database of the Russell J. Bowen Collection; CIABASE; NameBase.

O'Brien, Kevin A. "Security and Intelligence Related Information Resources on the Internet -- A Reference Note." CASIS Intelligence Newsletter 25 (Winter 1995-1996): 25-27.

 

2. Digital Bibliographies

The Digital Bibliography of the Russell J. Bowen Collection of Works on Intelligence, Security, and Covert Activities. Washington, DC: National Intelligence Book Center, [?].

Peake, Reader's Guide, supplies the following information: The database is known as Bowen Digital Bibliography (BDB). It has over 8,000 entries -- 6,500 in English and about 2,000 in other languages (approximately half of which are in Russian). About 500 of the entries are from newspapers and journals. This is "the largest known digital database of books and articles on or related to intelligence ... in the world." The remaining 3,000 items in the Bowen Collection "will eventually be included." The BDB's software program is "extremely fast and easy to use." The database can be searched on the basis of "specific titles, authors, participants, keywords, dates, publishers, or some combination of these options." This is a "read-only" database -- what you buy is what you get; updates require an additional purchase.

Jeffreys-Jones notes that the BDB has "wider indexing than the Library of Congress system." The database comes with "a copyright-protective security key, which means it cannot be networked." See Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones, "Manual Indices and Digital Pathways: Developments in United States Intelligence Bibliography," Intelligence and National Security 9, no. 3 (Jul. 1994): 555-559.

See also, Marjorie W. Cline, Carla E. Christianson, and Judith M. Fontaine, eds., Scholar's Guide to Intelligence Literature: Bibliography of the Russell J. Bowen Collection in the Joseph Mark Lauinger Memorial Library, Georgetown University (Washington, DC: National Intelligence Study Center 1983; Frederick, MD: University Publications of America, 1983). Scholar's Guide has about 5,000 entries organized by subject and indexed by author.

3. Digital Dictionaries

Carl, Leo D. The CIA Insider's Dictionary of U.S. and Foreign Intelligence, Counterintelligence and Tradecraft. Digital form. McLean, VA: Maven Books, 1994.

NMIA Newsletter 9.1 notes that this version of Carl's dictionary "sticks to intelligence. It has 8,477 entries and is current up through the recent arrest of accused CIA spy, Aldrich Ames." The same review, signed by John Macartney, is carried in Intelligencer 5.1 (Spring 1994). For Surveillant 4.1, this "is an essential dictionary ... with a superb selection of terms from his larger database dictionary.... Carl has done ... the closest we have seen to a comprehensive listing of all the important terms" in the fields of intelligence and counterintelligence. The "computerised format makes the work all the more useful. Searching is instantaneous.... This is highly recommended."

Carl, Leo D.

1. The International Dictionary of Intelligence. Updated, digital version. McLean, VA: Maven Books, 1992.

According to Surveillant 2.6, this version of Carl's dictionary "contains over 15,500 listings.... The original 1990 printed edition contained only 6,794 words.... [K]eep in mind that such a large undertaking by one man is not without a higher percentage of errors or biased definitions."

2. The International Dictionary of Intelligence. 2d ed., digital version. McLean, VA: Maven Books, 1992.

NMIA Newsletter 9.1: This version is "updated through 1993 with some 16,466 alphabetical entries.... [S]ources are not cited for most entries in Leo Carl's dictionaries.... Aside from official definitions, for most entries, one cannot tell where, specifically, Mr. Carl got his material. Nor can it be checked." The dictionary "has been rather controversial." Nonetheless, it gives the user access to "quick, very handy, and generally reliable references." The same review, signed by John Macartney, is carried in Intelligencer 5.1 (Spring 1994).

4. Digital source materials

CIABASE. P.O. Box 5022, Herndon, Virginia, 22070 (Phone 703 437-8487) (rmcgehee@igc.apc.org) [all information on CIABASE is several years out of date].

Clark comment: This database was compiled by Ralph McGehee, a former CIA officer who became disillusioned with his employer during the Vietnam War. [See McGehee, Deadly Deceits (1983)] In his database, McGehee has pulled together from an extremely large number of widely varying sources almost every conceivable negative reference to the CIA. CIABASE was available in Apple Macintosh as well as IBM/PC format. The search-engine is relatively easy to use.

In his Reader's Guide, Peake notes that "most of the sources are secondary," and the source "validation task [is left] to the user." CIABASE "can provide a quick first-cut response to the question, has something been published on a given topic?... Each of the 100 or so categories ... contains short excerpts from articles, books, etc.... When the CIA ... is mentioned, it is usually in a negative sense."

According to Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones, "Manual Indices and Digital Pathways: Developments in United States Intelligence Bibliography," Intelligence and National Security 9, no. 3 (Jul. 1994): 555-559, CIABASE has a "sophisticated subject index to a number of books, journals, newspapers, and government documents." A January 1993 update includes "abstracts from the computer catalogue of the library system of the University of California."

See also Robert L. Youngblood, "Electronic Databases and Research on the Central Intelligence Agency in Asia," Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars 26, no. 3 (Jul.-Sep. 1994): 61-65, which reviews CIABASE and NAMEBASE.

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