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BreadBoard is an experimental interface for exploring the Orlando database. It allows the contents of the entire database to be viewed at once on a single screen, thereby allowing researchers to easily find and view authors in a way that shows a compact representation of their connections to other authors, places, literary references, organizations, and people. BreadBoard's representation can be sorted by the first letter of the author's last name, the historical period, or other search parameters.


  1. No external resources are required.


  1. Go to the Orlando BreadBoard link at [it is not currently live, but soon will be!]
  2. Log in with your Orlando user name and password
  3. Wait for the page to load.
  4. You will see a list of writers' names that are in the Orlando textbase.
  5. These names are organized alphabetically by default.
  6. Sort and Search

  7. To sort by a writer's last name or historical period, click on "Alphabet" or "Historical Period".
  8. To search, click on the "Search" option to the right of the "Sort by" option.
  9. You can choose to limit the search results by scope and date.
  10. To limit by scope, select or deselect "British Women Writers," "Male Writers," and/or "Other Women Writers."
  11. To limit by date, select the desired date range from the drop down menu. Select only one date range.
  12. View

  13. Click on a writer's last name to see more information about that writer.
  14. Wait for the page to load.
  15. In the "Results Summary" tab, a summary of the writer's life and work appears below the writer's name.
  16. The "Results Summary" tab shows a listing of all of the different links in the Orlando textbase entry for that writer.
  17. These links are colour coded according to whether they relate to "Social Networks," "Organizations," "Literary Relations," or "Places." The colours correspond to the colours for each tab listed underneath the information about the writer.
  18. Click on the "Social Networks," "Organizations," "Literary Relations," or "Places" tabs to see a tag cloud with large and small links.
  19. The links that have the highest frequency within the entry are larger and bolder than entries that occur less frequently.
  20. These tag clouds give an overview of the organizations, social networks (people), literary relations, and places with which the author was associated, based on how frequently these names, places, organizations, and works of literature are mentioned in the entry.
  21. These tag clouds can be narrowed by deselecting or selecting the tags that appear on the left-hand side of each tab.
  22. Click on a link to view its context in the writer's entry, which is extracted from the selected writer's entry in the Orlando textbase.
  23. Wait for the page to load.


  1. Sort the results by historical period.
  2. Choose the writer whose name appears first by the date 0612. The writer is Sappho.
  3. Click on Sappho.
  4. Wait for the page to load.
  5. Click on the "Places" tab.
  6. You will see a list of the different places associated with Sappho due to their mention in the Orlando entry on Sappho. Greece appears largest, with Egypt slightly smaller, and Germany and Italy are much smaller and less bold than Egypt and Greece because they occur less frequently.
  7. Narrow the places in the tag cloud by delecting the tags on the left-hand side of the tab.
  8. Click on "Italy" to see the context of the link to Italy within the writer's entry. This can also be done with "Greece," "Egypt," and "Germany."

==Suggested Activities==

  1. Find out which people have close associations with J. K. Rowling.
  2. Find out which organizations have connections to Jane Austen that only involve textual reception.
  3. How is Julia Kristeva connected to Marcel Proust?
  4. Which people are most prominent in W. B. Yeats' social networks, and why?


It should be remembered that this is an experimental interface that has not yet been officially released. This means that some bugs can be expected.


A document describing Breadboard is available here:

Who has worked on creating it

Susan Brown guided the prototype design from a literary historical perspective, and Milena Radzikowska and Stan Ruecker led the design. Mark Bieber designed and coded the prototype with assistance on the API side from Jeffery Antoniuk.

Work on the Breadboard interface has been generously supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Faculty of Arts at the University of Alberta.


Online, with account by arrangement with orlando[the at sign]

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