strathspey Archive: The Ramsay Index

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The Ramsay Index

Message 14362 · Ian McHaffie · 8 Nov 1998 20:08:06 · Top

Greetings All:

A couple of people suggested that information about the Ramsay Index
Project might be of interest to all Strathspey members.

The Ramsay Index of Scottish Country Dance Music was published first in
1984 by Bill Stoddart, a teacher and dancer in Toronto. The list included
115 Albums (mainly his own collection, I think), 1052 dances, 3018 tunes.
He used a computer to organize the data and published a print version,
which was (and still is, I believe) available through TACBOOKS. He was
aware of the need for the owner of a large collection of Albums to be able
to find a particular dance or tune quite quickly; similarly, a person
wanting to buy a record might want more information than is available in
the various catalogues.

After the publication of the print version, Bill did more work on his
index, intending to publish a revision (and also a computer version) some
time in the mid-1990s. But the project was cut short about three years ago
by his sudden and untimely death.

Earlier this year the St. Andrew's Society of Toronto -- of which Bill was
President at the time of his death -- wished to have a memorial project for
him in an area of his interest. At the same time, The Society wanted to
remember another late member and Scottish Country Dancer, Ronald Smith, who
played a key role in starting SCD in the Toronto area in the early 1950s.
Ron had died a short time before Bill, and had also been an active member
of the St. Andrew's Society of Toronto. The Society therefore approached
TAC with an offer to fund the development costs for a revision of the
Ramsay Index, so that the cost of the revised index to users could be kept
as low as possible.

TAC agreed to undertake the revision project and, as DanceDate was so well
advanced and covered much of the same territory (and more), approached Alan
Paterson, who agreed to become a member of the committee and participate in
the project.

When the current project is finished, hopefully some time towards the end
of this year or early next year, we should have a revised print version,
together with (we plan) several computer versions.

So, basically, the Ramsay Index has become a subset of the larger DanceData
project and we are at present validating (and expanding) the entries in
Alan's data base to make them as full and accurate as possible -- his index
had not had as many albums listed as existed, so the project has had the
added benefit of expanding Dance Data as well.

Most readers of Strathspey, being computer oriented, will be less
interested in the print version than in the computer approaches: because of
the number of Albums published, the printed version will be quite large.
Furthermore, because of Anselm's work in developing a "front-end" to Alan's
data base, much of the information in the index is already available on
line to those with internet access.

A facility that we hope to have available within the specific Ramsay Index
subset is the ability for an individual to customize the full data base so
that (s)he can look through a personal subset of the 475 Albums on the list
and find out where a particular dance is available within his/her personal
collection instead of out there in the wonderful world of records not yet
bought!

If you're interested in further information please get in touch with me!

Finally "Why The 'Ramsay' Index?"

Bill felt the Index needed a name so he chose Ramsay, which was his
mother's maiden name (and one of his middle names)!

Ian McHaffie
ianmch@inforamp.net

The Ramsay Index

Message 14365 · Jack Pollock · 8 Nov 1998 21:35:17 · Top

-----Original Message-----
From: Ian McHaffie <ianmch@inforamp.net>
To: strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
<strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de>
Date: Sunday, November 08, 1998 1:11 PM
Subject: The Ramsay Index

Ian McHaffie wrote:
>Furthermore, because of Anselm's work in developing a "front-end" to Alan's
>data base, much of the information in the index is already available on
>line to those with internet access.
>

How does one access the index information already available?

Jack Pollock
Waynesville, North Carolina, USA

The Ramsay Index

Message 14368 · Richard L. Walker · 9 Nov 1998 00:40:32 · Top

Just go to:
http://mars.tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de:8000/dd/query

The form will tell you what to do. (heh heh)

-----Original Message-----
From: Jack Pollock <jpollock@primeline.com>
...How does one access the index information already available?

The Ramsay Index

Message 14369 · Richard L. Walker · 9 Nov 1998 00:44:46 · Top

I would recommend determining what additional information the
Ramsay Index has that the DanceData database doesn't, and
incorporate it into the DanceData database. It seems like that
would make it easier for Anselm to incorporate the additional
information into his internet interface and make it easier on
everyone who will be keeping only one database current.

-----Original Message-----
From: Ian McHaffie <ianmch@inforamp.net>
TAC agreed to undertake the revision project and, as DanceDate was
so well
advanced and covered much of the same territory (and more),
approached Alan
Paterson, who agreed to become a member of the committee and
participate in
the project.

The Ramsay Index

Message 14377 · Alan Paterson · 9 Nov 1998 09:09:10 · Top

"Richard L. Walker" wrote:
>
> I would recommend determining what additional information the
> Ramsay Index has that the DanceData database doesn't, and
> incorporate it into the DanceData database.

None whatsoever.

> It seems like that
> would make it easier for Anselm to incorporate the additional
> information into his internet interface and make it easier on
> everyone who will be keeping only one database current.

Alan

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