Her Heritage: A Biographical Encyclopedia of Famous American Women
There’s a definite need for a reference work like Her Heritage: A Biographical Encyclopedia of Famous American Women (Pilgrim New Media/Cambrix. Navigate the on-screen introduction to get your bearings. The attractive interface takes some getting used to before you can move around easily. Information is arranged under the following headings: Biographical Profiles, Pseudonyms & Pen Names, Awards, Prizes & Fellowships, and In their Own Words. Photos are available and when there is film footage, as in the Josephine Baker profile, the person comes to life. Why not have more of this? Photos by Annie Leibowitz, videos of Margaret Sanger giving a speech? CD-ROMs are built to handle multimedia. If you check out “Cartoonists”, you can read about the artists, but you won’t find examples of their work. If you want to read something by Dorothy Parker and check under P in the “In Their Own Words” section, you’ll get works that begin with the letter “P”, but you’ll have no idea who wrote them. Supplementary material should be included under the biographies, referring to important work by the subject or to other biographical sources for further reference. The best entries are the ones that fully utilize multimedia, with videos, stills, and hypertext links. This CD-ROM is intriguing, but it’s not nearly as complete as it should be. You can’t help but wish for much more depth. With more layers of content, more multimedia, and a simpler interface, Her Heritage would be an invaluable reference title.
– May 1995
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